Even young doctors paralyzed by health record debate

With the real possibility of health reform in two years, who's going to put money into something that might quickly become obsolete? I think a lot of EHR outfits are going to go bankrupt before 2009.

Downtown Decatur Ga. from Ponce de Leon Ave. looking eastToday's post is late because I had my regular check-up this morning.

It was with my doctor's new partner. She takes blood pressure well. That's always been one of the older doctor's pet peeves. The practice is in good hands.

Then the first thing she did when we sat down was to open up a file folder and start writing. Yes, my doctor still hasn't automated.

Studies like the new eHealth report on security won't help. The idea of putting patient data at risk disturbs her.

But so do the lack of standards and basic compatibility. She held out her PDA and asked why systems can't reach it. She nodded her head when I talked about the high cost of current systems, and the risk of losing control to a hospital group or insurer.

Never mind the problems reading the other doctor's handwriting. Never mind the difficulty having to transfer test results by phone. She's just not ready to make that kind of bet-the-company decision, especially since she's just joined.

And who can blame her? With the real possibility of health reform in two years, who's going to put money into something that might quickly become obsolete?

I think a lot of EHR outfits are going to go bankrupt before 2009.

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