An HIT

Lifespan (Palm Desert, California) said that as a result of the recently approved $20 billion devoted to healthcare IT in the federal stimulus package, Karim Quyami, MD, PhD, the company's chief scientist, has determined to focus on using the Lifespan System to create a HIPAA compliant electronic medical record (EMR) for each person prescribed or using Lifespan's medical peripherals.

The company said its goal is to create a comprehensive program that will incorporate the results of testing systems into a web-based EMR that will be instantly accessible by patients, physicians and other providers.

"The combination of the potential stimulus funding and the patents, technologies and medical scientific breakthroughs related to home health care that Dr. Quyami and the Center of Excellence for Surgical Education & Innovation bring to the table certainly create opportunities for Lifespan," said Stuart Brame, the company's chief information officer. "I am particularly excited about furthering the development of the 'virtual patient' which leads directly to the development of interactive 3-D electronic medical records."

According to a study by Rand Corporation (Santa Monica, California), only about 15% to 20% of physician offices use EMRs. The study estimates that EMR could save more than $77 billion in efficiency costs a year by reducing patients' length of stay and doctors and nurses administrative tasks.

A Harvard (Cambridge, Massachusetts) study finds fewer than one in 10 hospitals has electronic records with doctors' notes, patients' allergies, shot records, X-rays, and prescriptions and few are able to communicate outside the building. "Meaning, when you go to the emergency room they likely can't pull down the records of what happened when you saw your physician last week," Lifespan said.

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