Electronic Health Records
The Struggle and the Promise

About this project

The vision calls for a vast system of digital records connecting doctors, patients, hospitals and laboratories in a way that promotes widespread efficiencies, reduces medical errors, and generates vast databases to boost medical research. But the federal electronic records program--filled with incentives and penalties for physicians--is also carving out a digital divide that can favor large practices over solo practices, younger doctors over veterans and specialists over primary care physicians. This project is a partnership with the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Register. It appeared in both newspapers July 6, 2014.

Stories

E-Record Push Dividing Doctors

Dr. Martin Fee, an infectious disease specialist, doesn’t miss the days of chasing medical records through the corridors of Orange County hospitals.

Hits to Medical Privacy

Since early 2009 the federal government has reported more than 1,000 cases in which private health information was put at risk, affecting nearly 32 million people.

Millions of Electronic Medical Records Breached

Thieves, hackers and careless workers have breached the medical privacy of nearly 32 million Americans, including 4.6 million Californians, since 2009.

Study: Digitized Medical Records Aid Communication Between Patient and Doctor

It took several electronic nudges before Patti Schwebel booked an appointment for an overdue mammogram. Her doctorsat Kaiser Permanente diagnosed breast cancer two years ago after the films revealed a lump.

Quotable

"I spent half my time finding clipboards to find out if my patient had a fever overnight." —Martin Fee, chief of staff at Hoag Hospital Newport Beach

Authors

Deborah Schoch

Deborah Schoch

Senior writer Deborah Schoch reports on hospitals and health care delivery, nursing homes, environmental health and food. Her most recent articles have examined patient safety andhospital infections. She was a founding writer with the Center’s pilot project. Schoch spent 18 years as a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, covering public health and the environment. She was a member of the Times newsroom teams that won Pulitzer Prizes for breaking news in 1992 and 1994. Schoch graduated from Cornell University and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1999-2000, studying science, law and policy. Her work at the Center has won several honors, including first place in the 2010 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, from the Association of Health Care Journalists. She sits on the AHCJ board’s Right-to-Know Committee, which works to improve access to public health records.

Project Partners

© 2019 Center for Health Reporting

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