Medical Records

Creative Commons/Pixabay

When you go to your doctor's office, sometimes it seems the caregivers spend more time gathering data about you than treating you as a patient.

Electronic medical records are everywhere – annoying to doctors and intrusive to patients.

But now researchers are looking to see if they can plow through the vast amount of data that's gathered in those records, along with insurance billing information, to tease out the bits that could be useful in refining treatments and identifying new uses for drugs.

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D Gorenstein

The federal government has invested more than $30 billion in electronic medical records. The idea is that these records will let doctors and hospitals improve patient care – and potentially lower costs – by tracking all the treatment a person receives.

The government may want its money back.

President Obama is at Stanford University today, hosting a cybersecurity summit. He and about a thousand guests are trying to figure out how to protect consumers online from hacks and data breaches.

Meanwhile, in the cyber underworld, criminals are trying to figure out how to turn every piece of our digital life into cash. The newest frontier: health records.

I grab a chair and sit down with Greg Virgin, CEO of the security firm RedJack.

No one likes it when a new drug in people's medicine cabinets turns out to have problems — just remember the Vioxx debacle a decade ago, when the painkiller was removed from the market over concerns that it increased the risk of heart attack and stroke.

To do a better job of spotting unforeseen risks and side effects, the Food and Drug Administration is trying something new — and there's a decent chance that it involves your medical records.

A Bitter Pill To Swallow

Jun 3, 2014
stock photo

One of the biggest challenges American hospitals face right now is moving to electronic medical records from old-fashioned paper files.

The switch is costing tens of billions of dollars, eating up tons of staff time, and it's especially tough for the country's 2,000 rural and small-town hospitals.

Sound Medicine: January 11, 2009

Jan 11, 2009

Topics for this week include Varicose Veins; Kids with Kidney Stones; Patient Photos in Medical Records; and the book "Before You Go Under." This week's Checkup discusses how to keep aging brains alert - by web surfing.

Sound Medicine: December 28, 2009

Dec 28, 2008

Topics for this week: Rock Steady Boxing; Distracted Drivers; Electronic Medical Records; The "Power Stretch" Machine; Stuttering; Water Births; Drum to Stay Fit; and Alligator Blood for Health.