The Medical Insider: Why More Data Doesn’t Mean Better Care

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The Medical Insider is a weekly column from Dr. Zachary F. Meisel, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar and an emergency physician at the University of Pennsylvania. He will cover the medical industry, patient behavior and health care from the perspective of a practicing physician each Wednesday on TIME.com.

Since 2009, the federal government has invested over $20 billion in health information technology (HIT), which helps doctors locate their patients’ medical records from other offices and hospitals, which speeds up and streamlines care.

Many doctors are eager to reduce the number of diagnostic tests they must repeat for lack of access to previous files. But at least one study showed that electronic files and doctors’ orders led to “human-machine interface flaws” that caused a bump in infant mortality in an intensive care unit and errors in prescribing medicine.

Meisel argues that there is a way to take on how we can responsibly integrate technology with the communication structure of busy hospitals. Have a look here.

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