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Medical Professionals Aren't Leaping For E-Medicine 98

theodp writes "Despite all the stimulus money being directed toward developing electronic medical records, surprisingly few doctors, hospitals and insurers are using Google Health and other sites like it. One reason, Newsweek suggests, may be that Web-based personal-health records like the ones being compiled on Google Health don't appear to be covered under HIPAA, which requires that health care providers and health plans protect patient confidentiality. 'We don't connect that information to other aspects of Google,' explains Dr. Roni Zeiger, product manager for Google Health. Still, the federal government is in the process of drafting privacy recommendations that would apply to Google Health, as well as the makers of consumer apps that perform tasks like monitoring blood pressure."
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Medical Professionals Aren't Leaping For E-Medicine

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  • Sketchy. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 21, 2010 @06:45PM (#31561054)

    I wasn't even aware Google produced a product called Google Health.

    I can understand their other technology developments, but this is one area where it's blatantly apparent that they just want to know a scary amount about each of their users...

  • Googlectomy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @06:49PM (#31561104)
    Mixing Google and my medical records would give a whole new meaning to the word 'Buzz'.
  • by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @07:04PM (#31561228) Homepage
    Don't get me wrong, i do think Google is one of the best, if not the best, company to trust my data with (not that is something to brag about) but my health records are a complete no-no. I don't want anyone except the doctor I'm using at the time to see them. Not that I'm some sort of gimp with all sorts of shit oozing from my body but my health records are *the* most private thing to me imo.

    I'll happily expose my genitals online but not my health records.
  • by Old Flatulent 1 ( 1692076 ) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @07:37PM (#31561406)
    The reality of going to an all digital system is not as clear cut as many on /. would believe. Vancouver Island Canada has to a large extent undergone a huge change over to E-film and E-records, and has perhaps the most advanced systems around. The costs of making all this work has not been reflected in reduced numbers of staff needed to handle data instead of paper.

    There still are large amounts of paper necessary for day to day operations and getting Doctors and clinics to effectively use secure online services has been nothing short of a nightmare. It costs more to do day to day operations and many say they would find going back to simple reliable terminal based systems more efficient and cost effective! The costs of supporting, securing and system training for PC based software is over the top and is a tremendous burden on any essential service.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 21, 2010 @08:32PM (#31561858)

    BTW, as a developer of an EMR (or as it's currently called, EHR - Electronic Health Record. Gotta keep up with the buzzword bingo) and friends with a number of doctors using our EMR, competitors' EMRs, and plain paper, the number one problem with using electronic records to get more money is that the insurance companies are on to us.

    One doctor started getting regularly audited by Medicare because their E&M code "bell curve" shifted upwards - they were doing more level 4 and 5's than before, all because their medical record software told them "you're so close to the next level, add x and you'll have sufficient documentation for it!" Of course, this isn't limited to electronic records (I've got an HPI textbook that tells me that smoking status, whether smoking or not, is always pertinent medical history), but when all of the "x"s are just checkboxes, it's pretty easy to go down the list and hit them all.

  • by demonlapin ( 527802 ) on Sunday March 21, 2010 @09:49PM (#31562506) Homepage Journal

    So much of the medical diagnosis could be automated. Everything from image analysis to the various charts they read off.

    I am aware that I may be pissing up a rope here. However.

    I'm a physician, and I'd be happy to let every drug (except antibiotics) be over-the-counter. Kill yourself, make yourself better, get high - it's really no skin off my back. But good diagnosis is hard, and it's definitely not automatable except in the most trivial of situations. After all, if it were automated, you'd have a great product to sell to physicians who could then hire a vast cadre of nurses to do the patient interviews and generate the diagnoses, which they could then swoop in and bill for.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 21, 2010 @10:42PM (#31562900)
    I recently did consulting for a practice going from paper encounter forms/computer billing to EMR/computer billing. With the old system, when audited, they just pull the encounter forms with a bunch of checkboxes and circles. With the EMR, if they get audited.... they're fucked because their EMR notes do not support what they're trying to bill for. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before doctors are told to optimize their billing (or they figure out how to game it to get in their required RVUs).

If you want to put yourself on the map, publish your own map.