The goal sounds simple enough: Create a standardized technology that would allow patients to share their medical records as easily as getting cash from an ATM.
Easier said than done.
With so many doctors, hospitals, insurers and other players with competing interests, the healthcare industry has struggled for years to make the leap into the Information Age.
Technology advocates contend that electronic records could put vital medical details quickly in the right doctor's handswhether patients are at their family physician's office, visiting a specialist at a crosstown hospital or rushing through an emergency room 500 miles from home. And they argue that computer-based files can reduce medical errors, boost efficiency and contain costs.
Yet the hefty price tag and other concerns have left many doctors clinging to notepads and manila folders instead.
Now, some health insurers are taking steps to make some importantalbeit limitedinformation available electronically to Metroplex healthcare providers.
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