Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Is the trend from paper to electronic health records irreversible?

When we moved from horse drawn carriages to automobiles, we certainly had some naysayers - they said that cars were too fast, too loud, too dangerous, too new, too untested, too modern.  But we never went back to horses, despite the complexity of the new technology and the issues associated with the internal combustion engine.

Similarly, I submit that whether we like it or not, the die is cast (I like the Suetonius version better, with Julius Caesar dramatically stating "alea iacta est" before proceeding to cross the Rubicon), for we have  crossed our Rubicon, and in the distance we can hear the relentless march of progress. EHRs will replace paper records, and it's too late to reverse course and close the barn door because the horse has bolted.

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