Barack Obama thinks it's high time we all had our medical records online. In fact, the president is so excited about this that he put $19 billion in the stimulus package to get doctors and hospitals to go digital. This could be good news for parents who have to keep track of the family's shot records, X-rays, lab results, and prescriptions. No more having to recopy my daughter's shot record every time we go to the pediatrician! But the push to go digital also raises big questions about privacy and access.
I talked about the pluses and minuses of having an electronic medical record earlier this week with WTOP radio. Here's a big plus: Families in Hawaii, where Kaiser Permanente first rolled out its electronic medical record system, went to the doctor 25 percent fewer times, because they could ask the doctor questions and order up prescription refills online.