Obama's Digital Records Plan No Panacea
President's $80B savings claim based on data-free study
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Mar 12, 2009 9:13 AM CDT
Sorry, Obama, there's no evidence that electronic medical records are a cure for what ails us.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – When President Obama said last week switching the nation’s medical records to electronic data would save some $80 billion a year, Jerome Groopman and Pamela Hartzband thought the same thing: How? It turns out the president’s claims are based on a 2005 RAND Corporation study, funded by interested parties HP and Xerox, which admits there’s no evidence backing its theoretical suppositions, the Harvard docs write for the Wall Street Journal.

The evidence we do have largely repudiates RAND’s findings. One study said doctors using electronic records actually made more diagnostic errors than their paper-shuffling colleagues. RAND says it attributes such findings to “not-yet-effective implementation.” But that “flies in the face of the scientific method,” argue Groopman and Hartzband. Science requires testing hypotheses. “The RAND study and the Obama proposal it spawned appear to be an elegant exercise in wishful thinking.”

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
Riffran
Mar 13, 2009 12:49 AM CDT
not sure about the money saving aspect, but if ALL medical records were digital, (and standardized), it would be an effective tool for catching "doctor shoppers", and multi pharmacy shoppers...then there is the privacy issues, and who would be allowed to access the info.....Hellllo big (socialist) Brother?.......In principal a good idea, but knowing how *well* the government handles paperwork,(even if digital)...the implementation will be a nightmare for the health care people
Guest
Mar 12, 2009 4:02 AM CDT
You running next? Got your plan, ready have you?
northeast
Mar 12, 2009 12:09 AM CDT
Unspoken Newser Rule #4: If you don't know what you're talking about, only comment on opinion pieces that happen to share your opinion....meaning that they're still over in the Limbaugh threads.