Theincentives from the HITECH Act initiatives do help defray the costs ofinstalling computers and systems. However, “The focus should be on value, not cost,” according toDeborah Kohn, Principal, Dak Systems Consulting, San Mateo, CA. “Thecost issue is a moving target, but the installation of EHR systems yields lotsof value to the oncology practitioner and the oncology practice.”
Thevision of the future is one of “mobile health,” and mobile health is alreadyhere in the form of mobile devices and smartphones that oncology physicianstake along with them from hospital to office to clinic, and back again. Afull integration of the mobile electronic device with the office-basedcomputers is yet to come, but Kohn predicts that full integration is likely tobe offered within the next several years by vendors of EHR and financial-recordsystems. In summary, physicians, especially oncologists, are among themost mobile of professionals, and are likely to adopt integrated mobiletechnologies once they are offered by vendors of the computerized systems. Withincentives and initiatives offered by the ARRA and HITECH, the United Statesmight be able to “catch up” with countries such as Denmark, New Zealand, andSweden, which have very high rates of EHR adoption.14
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