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Panel emphasizes safety in digitization of health records

The New York Times, November 9, 2011
Poorly designed, hard-to-use computerized health records are a threat to patient safety, and an independent agency should be set up to investigate injuries and deaths linked to health information technology, according to a federal study released Tuesday. The report by the Institute of Medicine comes as the government is spending billions of dollars in incentive payments to encourage doctors and hospitals to adopt electronic health records. The Department of Health and Human Services requested the study, in response to concerns from some doctors and public health experts that the drive for digital records might bring a wave of technology-induced medical errors. The goal of moving from paper to computerized patient records is to improve patient care and curb healthcare costs.