Health care finally goes digital

Arkansas’ health care system, and the rest of the country’s, is finally adopting the same communications technology that the rest of the economy adopted two decades ago.

Eventually, that will mean no more handwritten prescriptions or paper files. The same information that your doctor has about you will be available to your cardiologist.

The transition has not been easy. The transition will disrupt practices that are already busy serving patients. Some older doctors do not want to change. Parts of Arkansas are still on dialup. Plus, there are privacy concerns.

Across America, physicians are eligible for up to $64,000 in federal funds to ease the transition, while hospitals can get up to $2 million. It’s a fraction of the cost, but that’s still taxpayer money going to doctors to do something the rest of us did on our own.

There’s more at my column this week for the Arkansas News Bureau.

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