Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Why a national EMR may never happen in the U.S.

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Jan• 15•14

Technophiles pine for the data when any hospital or clinic can access all your health information from a single source.  Due to competitive pressures, however, it is unlikely that a national EMR will emerge in the near future.  Miller and Tucker (JHE 2014) explain:

We find empirically that larger hospital systems are more likely to exchange electronic patient information internally, but are less likely to exchange patient information externally with other hospitals. This pattern is driven by instances where there may be a commercial cost to sharing data with other hospitals. Our results suggest that the common strategy of using ‘marquee’ large users to kick-start a platform technology has an important drawback of potentially creating information silos.

A top down approach that mandates a single platform for information sharing would be one solution. As one can see from the IT success of Healthcare.gov, top-down government solutions to IT issues do not always work out as planned.


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