Yonkers N.Y., - An investigation in the March 2006 issue of Consumer Reports magazine contends that a national system of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) being developed by the federal government, states, HMOs, and PPOs to link the medical records of every American has potential for abuse. Consumer Reports claims that while such electronic medical records systems could save lives and billions of dollars in health-care spending, it may also jeopardize the security of personal health care information.The advantages of EHRs are many, according to Consumer Reports, include: more precise patient care from doctors, greater participation by patients, and an early-warning system for medical disasters such as the appearance of avian flu are among the hoped-for achievements for an electronic medical records network.

Another is the potential savings in health-care spending of $77 billion annually, according to the RAND Corp., if 90% of doctors and hospitals adopt the system. Much of the savings would come from shorter hospital stays prompted by better-coordinated care and fewer redundant tests and procedures. Fewer prescription errors, another benefit of computerized systems' warning doctors and pharmacists of potential adverse drug reactions, could save an additional $4 billion.

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