Blumenthal for the defense
Dr. David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health information technology, may be leaving his post this spring, but he’s going out swinging.
During a panel discussion Feb. 8 at AcademyHealth’s National Health Policy Conference, Blumenthal flatly denied the contention of a Massachusetts physician and his fellow panelist that electronic health records don’t improve care and would produce a net financial drain for providers.
Blumenthal supported his criticism by citing surveys that found most physicians who used EHRs could cite at least one type of clinical benefit the costly digital record systems had provided.
“I’m sure there are some physicians that have not seen care improve with an EHR, but they are the exception,” Blumenthal said.
Also, Blumenthal noted other surveys found that clinicians who use EHRs, on average, had higher incomes than those who did not.
Dr. Kevin Lanphear, a family practice physician in Newburyport, Mass., said his criticisms applied only to his own experience and the experiences of other physicians he knew with EHRs.
“I’m a fan of the technology, just not of the mandates and regulations that interfere with the care of my patients,” Lanphear says.