There was an interesting story last month on CNN about the progress being made to establish a national health records network. Here’s an excerpt:

“The 2009 Recovery Act, better known as the stimulus bill, set aside more than $20 billion for incentives to health care providers that deploy and meaningfully use certified electronic health records systems in their offices or hospitals. The first incentives are set to go out in the form of $22,000 Medicaid payments to early adopters within the next six months.

Since we’re still in the early phases, it’s hard to get clear numbers for adoption rates. Prior to the bill, just 17% of physicians’ offices and 12% of hospitals had implemented some kind of electronic health records system.

Now, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT), the agency tasked with organizing the electronic health records project, 74% of hospitals have responded to surveys saying they are planning on investing in health information exchange services. ONCHIT presented the update at a Washington conference of health IT professionals on Thursday.”

The government’s idea with electronic medical records is to eliminate the mistakes and time wasted associated with paper records. With electronic records, doctors can diagnose problems faster and spend time seeing more patients.

Of course, there are those who have concerns about privacy and usability, but we think electronic records are long overdue.

In addition to the services we provide, Marathon Health is a technology company. Technology is part and parcel of everything we do. We believe electronic medical records ensure the best care possible and cut down on fragmentation. Here’s why:

We developed a secure and efficient platform for maintaining the medical records at our onsite health centers. We call our technology solution a Health Engagement System™ and it is designed to support all aspects of the care process from primary care and health assessments to care documentation and clinical decision support. These tools enable the clinician/coach and the participant to create customized plans for reaching health goals, track individual progress, and learn more about better health.

Our HIPAA compliant electronic EMR/PHR organizes and stores an employee’s health information, including test results, treatment and management plans, health history, clinical notes, claims data, and biometric data, in one complete Personal Health Record for the employee, and an Electronic Medical Record for the practitioner. This clinical health record provides employees (and their clinician/coach) with access to:

  • A complete Personal Health Record
  • Wellness Profile and Scorecard
  • Personalized health improvement plans
  • Fitness and nutrition trackers
  • Registered dieticians and fitness trainers.
  • Personalized wellness initiatives and instructions.
  • Secure web messaging
  • Proprietary Problem-Knowledge Couplers®,
  • Searchable Healthwise® consumer health information.
  • Appointment scheduling

Our system eliminates the communication breakdowns and opportunities for information to get lost in the shuffle that patients experience when their paper records are transferred among various providers and specialists. Electronic medical records are the most efficient system.

What do you think?

To read the rest of the story, click here.

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