Wal-Mart is moving to provide a low-cost way for physicians in small offices to use electronic health records, the New York Times reports. The company—teaming with Dell for computers and eClinicalWorks for software—plans to offer a system for under $25,000, about half the current cost. The idea dovetails with Obama administration's push to boost such electronic records with $19 billion in stimulus money.
“If Wal-Mart is successful, this could be a game-changer,” said the former national coordinator for health information technology in the Bush White House. About three-fourths of the nation's doctors work in small offices, where the cost of installing such systems is more prohibitive, the Times notes. The cost of $25,000 is for the first doctor in the office; other physicians who use the system will pay another $10,000.