In response to Joseph Conn's "Reaching agreement on personal health records":
The personal health-record movement will fail unless:
First, doctors (practicing doctors, not hospital-employed doctors) form more than 50% of the group. The group is now weighted in favor of Big Pharma, the insurance industry, the electronic health-record lobby and managed-care industry. Doctors hate all these groups and will refuse to deal with them.
Second, data are made absolutely and reliably anonymous from the moment the information leaves the doctor's office. There should be no way that a marketer or an insurance company or the pharmaceutical industry or any trade group should be able to target a particular doctor or individual patient or their family based on the data analysis.
Third, the electronic record is Web-based, superfast, clutter- and advertising-freea product free to both doctors and patients.
It may be a good idea to pause until this year's elections are over. So much money has already gone down the drain and nothing has been delivered after 16 years of talking healthcare.
Narayanachar Murali, M.D.Gastroenterology Associates of Orangeburg (S.C.)Digestive Endoscopy Center To submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here. Please include your name, title and hometown.