A consistent refrain of some health care “reformers” is that electronic medical records can cure much of what ails U.S. health care. Not only will EMR save money, we are told, it will reduce medical errors.

The EMR system that is invariably held up as the model to emulate is the VA’s VistA. Indeed, VistA is also held up as proof that government health care can work if only the knuckle-draggers will get out of the way.

Well, it turns out that VistA doesn’t have magical powers after all. It would appear that the the VA’s vaunted EMR system has some serious glitches that have resulted in a spate of medical errors:

Patients at VA health centers were given incorrect doses of drugs, had needed treatments delayed and may have been exposed to other medical errors due to glitches that showed faulty displays of their electronic health records.

And yet, our new President and his “health care czar,” Tom Daschle, still claim that EMR will set us free. I guess peddling a discredited panacea is easier than pursuing real health care reform.

[HT Kevin, MD]

Comments 1

  1. EMR wrote:

    That’s too bad, EMR’s are the best.

    Posted 06 Apr 2009 at 12:53 pm

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