The use of portable computers nowadays has several advantages especially in adopting electronic records; however, there are still issues in using it in health care. A good example is running a computerized registry where in any of the provider who has given vaccine to a child can report that certain information. It aims to help children be updated with their immunization through the system.
One of the issues is its compatibility with what the doctors use; they do not update their central database because the data entry is just too much. If this is the case, researchers and doctors cannot rely on it, especially if they are tracking the immunizations of the kids and if the vaccines used are not given twice or missed. Sharing of information is not easy for some doctors.
Most doctors complain about how electronic records are not making them efficient. The health care industry do not benefit from the transformation of computer networks if compared to retail, banking and manufacturing industries. Health information technology of today is not like an ATM card wherein you can take it to any country and withdraw, transfer funds or make any other financial transactions.
A survey from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention revealed that while 72 percent of physicians that are office-based use some kind of electronic system in their practice, only 40 percent of which meet the description of even what we call a “basic” system.
"People talk about the ATM, [but] that’s seven data elements, and they charge you $2.50 for shipping those seven data fields over. We’re talking thousands of data fields around things that are life and death," – FarzadMostashari, the national coordinator for health information technology from the Department of Health and Human Services.
His office constantly meets software vendors doing their best to hammer out the standards of the industry, which is very important to make health information easier to share. Today, the number of doctors and hospitals that use electronic records has significantly increased but it will still take years before huge amount of savings will show.
Patients will definitely benefit from better care and lower cost if the systems can share patient records easily, and this will happen if hospitals and doctors will start getting paid for being smart about information technology. But as of this moment, duplicate tests mean duplicate payments. Doctors are optimistic and believe that IT will become an effective tool for high performance and efficiency.