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Are Electronic Medical Records Better for Your Health?

We live in the digital age - from downloading videos to online banking to social networking. Yet the medical world has been slow to jump into the electronic world of record keeping. We'll explore th

Are Electronic Medical Records Better for Your Health?

Tom Fudge : When you picture a doctor's office, or a hospital room, you see the paper charts. You see the doctor walking in with his clipboard. You see nurses pull records out of filing cabinets.

But the new goal is to make doctors' offices look less and less like that. If fact, when I now visit the doctor at Kaiser Permanente, I see that a computer screen and keyboard have replaced the pen and the clipboard.


Digitizing medical records has been achieved in some health organizations. But most docs still use paper. A survey by the New England Journal of Medicine this year found that only 13 percent of physicians use an electronic record system.

Going digital has definite advantages. The VA medical system has found it reduces medical errors and helps doctors provide preventive care. But there are major challenges in doing digital. And the security of those records is a major concern.

The Ethics Center forum "Electronic Health Records: the Good, the Bad, and the Future" is Wednesday, November 5, 2008, from 5:30-7pm, at the Ruben H. Fleet Science Center. The forum is free and open to the public.


  • John Macaulay , vice president of Healthcare and Lifesciences for Anakam , a San Diego-based company that makes identity recognition software for use by the medical community.
  • Pam Dixon , executive director for the World Privacy Forum , a non-profit public interest research and consumer education group that focuses on privacy matters.