Despite the high-profile campaign to prod the health-care world to adopt information systems that share patient data, the adoption pace isn't exactly on the fast track.
In part, the slow pace is a natural byproduct of the task's enormity. The health-care sector is mired in paper, perhaps more so than any other sector of the U.S. economy. By the end of the 1990s, according to White House data, most American industries spent approximately $8,000 per worker for IT. The health-care industry, however, spent only $1,000 per worker.
Erasing that gap will require a lot of hard work and money. Perhaps most importantly, formerly competitive parts of the health-care system will have to work together to solve complex health-IT problems.
It's a formula that's worked well for the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE), though only after considerable effort.
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