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Breaking down the barriers to EMR exchange

Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2010

Only about 10% of the nation's hospitals and less than 7% of doctors' offices have full-fledged electronic medical records, and those that have electronic records typically don't share them with others unless they're part of the same health system. Among the reasons: With dozens of different vendors, information systems often can't easily talk to each other. In addition, healthcare providers often view their information about patients as proprietary, and concern about violating privacy laws has made many hospitals reluctant to join information-exchange efforts. But those barriers are expected to come down as the federal government prepares to dole out $19 billion in economic-stimulus funds for healthcare providers to adopt electronic medical records, the Wall Street Journal reports.