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TECHNOLOGY: Mass. docs say one thing do another

A recent Mass medical society survey shows that doctors view computers as a necessity for their office work but are not using them much in their clinical care. Slightly more concerningly, despite the fact that overwhelming percentages think that they should be using computers for electronic prescribing (85%), recording of patient summaries (89%) and the collection of treatment records (83%) less than half have plans to do so. You’ll have noted that despite ePrescibing being compulsory in the House version of the recent Medicare bill, that unfunded mandate didn’t survive the AMA’s intervention in the conference committee.  So the question remains, who is going to pay for this computerization? Hint: in every other country where physicians actually use computing in their practice (UK, Sweden, New Zealand, even Canada), it’s been the government that coughed up.

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