An electronic medical health records system launched by five major companies of US, including two Silicon Valley giants, received support from a doctors’ group and two federal agencies.
The companies providing the electronic health records are Applied Materials, BP America Inc., Intel Corp., Pitney Bowes and Wal-Mart.
The companies hope that cutting out the paperwork in health care would reduce administrative costs, duplicative care and medical errors.
The Dossia program will enable employees to control their own portable electronic medical records and is intended to cut health care costs. One study from the nonprofit institute RAND has estimated that a widespread program of electronic medical records could cut U.S. health care costs at least $162 billion annually, according to the AeA, an electronics industry association.
About 2.5 million workers and their dependents would have access to their health records through their computer. The records will be compiled by an independent, nonprofit organization. The information will be stored in a database that only the employee is supposed to be able to access.
Officials say that the Omnimedix Institute of Portland, Ore., will maintain the health records. Omnimedix will gather the information from insurers, pharmacies, doctors and other health-care providers. Patients will be able to update the record also with such things as their family’s history of illness.
President Bush has set a goal that all Americans have electronic health records by 2014.