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Californians Have Problems With Electronic Medical Records

Aired 3/7/12 on KPBS News.

A growing number of healthcare systems in California are adopting electronic medical records. But a new report shows there are a lot of bugs to be worked out.

— A growing number of healthcare systems in California are adopting electronic medical records. But a new report shows there are a lot of bugs to be worked out.

The Consumers Union study examined five large health systems in California that are using electronic medical records.

It found data sharing among providers from different organizations was limited. It also found patients had trouble finding out what their rights were, and who was accessing their records.

Murray Jennex teaches information security at San Diego State University. He said providers are very concerned about data breaches.

"They realize they're at risk, while they're trying to meet the mandates of what the people want and the legislation wants," Jennex said.

Medical data breaches affected more than 10 million Americans last year alone.

Nonetheless, Congress is providing billions of dollars in incentives to get doctors and hospitals to adopt electronic medical records. Lawmakers have set a goal of having electronic medical records for all Americans by 2014.

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