Health information exchanges on the rise
There are about 200 health information exchanges in the United States today, and that number is growing fast, particularly now that the federal government is expected to make the ability to exchange patient data electronically part of the "meaningful use" criteria that physicians and hospitals have to meet to get funds to help them deploy electronic health record systems. While there's a lot of enthusiasm for these networks, not everyone is comfortable. There is a steep learning curve, and physicians are having to get beyond petty concerns about how other doctors might use patient data to steal patients and that patients could use easier access to their data to change doctors more frequently.
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