Geisinger Health System nurse Linda Wilson (front) and other nurses enter and review patient medical information in the Geisinger Health System electronic health records at the Geisinger Clinic in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, October 29, 2009. At Geisinger, all parties - patients, physicians, nurses, administrators, and the internal insurance plan - have timely access to each patient's medical history. The system, which has cost about $100 million since it was installed in the mid-1990s, is designed to prevent duplication of procedures and improve the coordination of care. Picture taken October 29, 2009.

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Could Better Electronic Health Records Have Prevented the First American Ebola Case?

October 14, 2014, Joshua Bleiberg and Darrell M. West

The potential benefits of electronic records are game changing. At a recent Brookings event on connectivity in healthcare many of the panelists agreed that the U.S. will develop a solution that meets its unique needs. In the future a federated data model could solve many of the problems discussed here. Such a system would allow users to search multiple databases quickly and safely. Currently such a plan is technically and politically difficult. Though serious problems persist, the future of health records may include far less paper.

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