Monday, August 18, 2008

Electronic Medical Records: An Open Source Option

Electronic medical records are commonly acknowledged as something that can slice a huge percentage of current health care costs right off the top. The big issue is getting them deployed and implemented. For many smaller practices, and some larger ones as well, the price of getting an EMR system set up and all of the current records entered into it is prohibitive.

Of course, this is the 21st Century and creative options abound. What would happen if we subtracted the cost of the EMR software itself from the equation? After all, look at how many people use Google's Gmail for the small price of having advertisements displayed in the margins. What is something similar could be done with an EMR application?

Dana Blankenhorn over at ZDNet Health Care answers that question as he reviews a new approach to electronic record keeping:

It’s called Practice Fusion, and if you can tolerate some ads on your screen you can use it as a software service free of charge.

Chris Anderson of Wired calls this the "Google Model" having coined the term "Freeconomics" to describe the result.

As always, security is an issue, but this looks like a model that might have legs. If proven secure and successful, this could end up being a quantum leap for adoption of EMR systems. I am curious to see reports on the security of the software as that will certainly be a major factor in how viable it proves to be. In the meantime, I am stunned that I have not seen anyone take this approach before.

In an age increasingly defined by open source, it is a logical stance.

SOURCE: "Psst. Want a free Electronic Medical Records system?" 07/31/08
photo courtesy of magerleagues, used under its Creative Commons license

1 comment:

  1. I like the concept but found Practice Fusion to be bare and cumbersome.


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