E-health apps might keep Medicare well

John Snow

Applying emerging health IT tools to patient care would help avoid projected bankruptcy of Medicare within 15 years, the new Medicare Trustees report says.

The adoption of electronic health technology is one of several reforms the report cited to keep the nation's retirees' medical system in business.

'We need to employ more fully the efficiencies of IT in the health care sector, such as physician order entry and electronic medical records,' said Treasury Department secretary and managing trustee John Snow.

Electronic prescriptions would reduce medical errors due to misread handwritten prescriptions and doctor orders. HHS has awarded numerous grants for testing various technologies in hospitals, and has created incentives for bar-coding systems that will let hospitals implement physician order entry.

The report also endorsed the implementation of disease management systems that would integrate care from many providers of patients with chronic illnesses, and applications that would issue patients daily medical care reminders and provide information about simple testing procedures they could do themselves.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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