New move in e-health records

The NY Times reports that Medicare is going to give away to doctors record-keeping software that’s been used by Medicare and the VA for years. A couple of years ago the Bush Admin. set up a project to set some industry standards for EMR, but evidently that didn’t go anywhere. Now Medicare is just going to put it out there. The database industry players may have blown it. In holding out for their product to dominate the market they may have to deal with the Medicare software as a defacto standard, a kind of government sponsored open source.

Medicare, which says the lack of electronic records is one of the
biggest impediments to improving health care, has decided to step in.
In an unprecedented move, it said it planned to announce that it would
give doctors – free of charge – software to computerize their medical
practices. An office with five doctors could save more than $100,000 by
choosing the Medicare software rather than buying software from a
private company, officials say.

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