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E-prescribing could help control medical radiation exposure

(DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING) -- There has been considerable discussion on the federal stimulus program and the impact it will have in bringing about an improved patient care model through the use of technology. This anticipates care providers having access to electronic health records (EHRs) that can communicate, or “interoperate,” with other health providers and health systems so a complete record of all a patient’s episodes of care, including pharmaceutical records, are available in real-time for physician review. As I explain below, these mechanisms could be used to help monitor and control medical radiation exposure.

This EHR model also anticipates practitioners electronically prescribing medications and having the system advise them of any interactions or allergies to the medications being requested. Such a system could enhance the quality of care, improve outcomes, minimize adverse results, and lower the overall cost of providing healthcare. The model is reminiscent of other industries where the introduction of information technology has had a major positive impact.

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