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Reuters : Ebola fears speed changes in U.S. hospital record systems

Dec 17 (Reuters) – The worst Ebola outbreak on record, and its spread beyond West Africa, has accelerated changes in how U.S. hospitals address the threat of infectious diseases, say health IT companies and industry experts.

After more than five years and a $25 billion investment of federal money to move U.S. medical records out of paper files and into computers, doctors say the systems lack analytical functions, don’t allow them to share information with colleagues in other practices and require too much time to enter data.

They say the limitations are affecting patient care and that fixing the system will take years.

But the first diagnosis of an Ebola case on U.S. soil in late September has prompted improvements in some areas of electronic record-keeping, particularly when it comes to alerting doctors about patients most vulnerable to a disease outbreak.

Read More : http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/17/health-ebola-usa-records-idUSL1N0U027L20141217

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