Monday, September 17, 2007

Employers Back CHIP Electronic Medical Records Program

Gary McWilliams writes in The Wall Street Journal this morning that six major corporations are backing the Children's Hospital Informatics Program (CHIP). CHIP is the latest effort from the Dossia Network -- a nonprofit consortium of large employers -- to deploy an online health records management tool.

The Dossia Network will adopt the "Indivo" electronic medical record (EMR) developed at Children's Hospital Boston. In a detailed article in today's Information Week, Marianne Kolbasuk McGee describes a falling out between Dossia and previous tech partner Omnimedix. The new partnership between Dossia and CHIP will hopefully get the EMR back on track. McGee interviews several key players in her piece.

Corporations signing on include Wal-Mart, Intel, AT&T, BP, Pitney Bowes, Applied Materials, Cardinal Health, and drug maker Sanofi of France.

In chapter 2 of his book, Health Care Reform Now!, George Halvorson says, "fewer than one in ten doctors makes use of electronic health records." Halvorson cites the lack of standardized EMRs as a major impediment to continuous quality improvement in medical care.

There are 2.5 million employees represented by the CHIP partners. The group hopes to have capacity to handle 1 million EMRs within a year. The Wall Street Journal article mentions that employers hope the electronic system will reduce costs. That's the carrot for adoption. The stick?:

They also intend to require hospitals, doctors and pharmacies to update employee records in order to remain preferred health-care providers.

SOURCE: "Employers Back Development Of Web-Based Health Records" 09/17/07
SOURCE: "Intel, Wal-Mart, And Others Refocus To Get Worker E-Health Record System Running" 09/17/07
photo courtesy of tillwe on Flickr using this Creative Commons license

1 comment:

  1. How are family physicians who operate with a low bottom-line going to afford this technology? In rural areas, small community hospitals and private practitioners do not have the infrastructure or access to big funders for this technology.


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