Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif., said it will abandon efforts to develop its own online medical record and instead will buy Epic Systems Corp.'s product, moving 8.4 million patient records online at a cost of $1.8 billion. The system is expected to be up and running within three years. Patients will have access to parts of their records, including test results and immunizations, and will be able to schedule appointments and request referrals. "People are starting to realize how automated medical systems enhance the quality of patient care, but until now, no one has implemented them so thoroughly on such a large scale," said George Halvorson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. Kaiser reportedly backed away from developing its own system because it was taking too long and there were better commercial systems available. -- by Tony Fong
Kaisers goes outside for online medical record
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