Nursing

News spotlight: Electronic health records could lead to healthcare glitches

Nurse Leader Insider, April 20, 2009

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Patients using Google Health—a new free online resource for storing and managing healthcare information—have run into technical difficulties, which some physicians fear could lead to improper hospital treatment.

The Boston Globe reports when Dave deBronkart transferred his health records from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston to Google Health, incorrect health conditions transferred as well. According to the article, deBronkart’s Google Health record pulled some information from billing records, which can “reflect imprecise information plugged into codes required by insurers.” Because patients can use Google Health to share health information with their care providers, inaccuracies could affect providers’ treatment and result in patients not receiving the most effective care.

According to Roni Zeiger, MD, a Google Health product manager, Google finds its information from sources sent by partner hospitals, pharmacies, and laboratories. He argues the benefits of having information, such as a list of allergies, medications, and recent lab reports, can save a patient's life in critical situations and that accuracy will improve with time.

Source: The Boston Globe



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