Medical Errors and Technology

In his State of the Union address this week, President Bush included a call for new technologies in health care, including "improved information technology to prevent medical error and needless costs." A week before the president proposed that within 10 years, every American have an electronic medical record. "We've got fantastic new pharmaceuticals that help save lives," the president said, "but we've got docs still writing records by hand." We talk about possibilities for digital medical records. What are the advantages — and disadvantages — of moving to such a technology?

Guests:

Dr. Lucian Leape, adjunct professor of health policy, Department of Health Policy and Management , Harvard School of Public Health

Dr. William Hersh, professor and chairman, Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health and Science University

Joseph Heyman, obstetrician-gynecologist in private practice. Board of trustees, American Medical Association. Board of Commissioners, Joint Commission of Accreditation of Health Care Organizations

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