NAS Report: US Healthcare Substandard

The Reuters Health and others are reporting that the Institue of Medicine (IOM) a group that advises Congress on health care issues has issued a report with a press release on the Nation’s health care system, calling it ‘sub-standard’. The report makes information technology an integral part of reform: ‘…Health care organizations are only beginning to apply technological advances. For example, patient information typically is dispersed in a collection of paper records, which often are poorly organized, illegible, and not easy to retrieve, making it nearly impossible to manage various chronic illnesses that require frequent monitoring and ongoing patient support…A nationwide effort is needed to build a technology-based information infrastructure that would lead to the elimination of most handwritten clinical data within the next 10 years, the committee said. Congress, the executive branch, leaders of health care organizations, and public and private purchasers should work together toward this goal. Without a national pledge to create and fund such a technological framework, progress to enhance quality of care will be painfully slow…

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