Raising Capital

By Stacy Lawrence  |  Posted 2004-05-19 Print this article Print

Brailer said he sees the raising of the necessary capital to stimulate innovation as an urgent task. He said this will require a shared investment across physicians, patients, health plans and private investment, as well as the investment of local, state and federal governments. Although electronic health records are starting to be adopted on a small scale, there is little infrastructure for circulating them across multiple health-care providers. Brailer suggested that the creation of local and regional infrastructure to share electronic health records is a potential solution.
In the near term, Brailer said he hopes to increase the uptake of IT within the health-care industry and enhance interoperability.
He argued that the successful execution of this endeavor could improve the quality of health care, with a concomitant increase in the ability of the American worker to be productive. But he is conscious of the perils of moving too rapidly into the widespread use of electronic medical records. A potential consequence could be to increase the rate of physician uptake but to simultaneously increase the failure rate. "I dont want to lead people into oblivion," Brailer said. The top priority, he said, should be to focus on the health-care organizations that are most ready to transition and to help create industry momentum, rather than to push for implementation uniformly across the sector. Click here to read about a federal panels suggestions on adopting electronic medical records. Still, there is an urgent need among physicians and patients for electronic medical records, Brailer said. "The pain in the industry today is so high that I think a lot of what we have to do is pain avoidance. Were in the fire right now," Brailer said. "If we dont move forward, our lives will really be challenged." Brailer noted that many patients with chronic diseases must carry around paper copies of their own medical records. This is "a symptom of how broken the system is," he said. He has been personally touched by medical errors that might have been avoided through more accurate records; Brailers father and brother both have experienced the effects of significant medical errors. Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at http://enterpriseapps.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.

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Stacy Lawrence is co-editor of CIOInsight.com's Health Care Center. Lawrence has covered IT and the life sciences for various publications, including Business 2.0, Red Herring, The Industry Standard and Nature Biotechnology. Before becoming a journalist, Lawrence attended New York University and continued on in the sociology doctoral program at UC Berkeley.

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