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American Journal of the Medical Sciences:
Reviews

The Progressive Roles of Electronic Medicine: Benefits, Concerns, and Costs

Podichetty, Vinod MD, MS; Penn, David BS

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Abstract

Electronic healthcare will significantly alter the way physicians practice medicine. Electronic medical records with specialized software programs can increase the quality of patient care, reduce unnecessary medical tests, and directly connect with pharmacies to transmit prescriptions. Electronic communication can allow physicians to respond to patients’ clinical concerns and questions, and Internet access can provide physicians better access to literature. Nevertheless, there is significant physician hesitance toward adopting medical computerization: patient e-mail can potentially overload physicians with extra work, web sites can direct patients to poor medical information, the computerized interface can degrade the patient-physician relationship, and health regulations can create concern over electronic privacy issues. The finances of e-health appear promising, yet conflicting studies create uncertainty. However, if managed appropriately, the potential disadvantages of e-health can be minimized, and the benefits of e-health in clinical practices can be obtained.

© Copyright 2004 Southern Society for Clinical Investigation

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