Holding Data Close to the Chest

As patients move from facility to facility within the US health care system, key medical records are frequently lost in the shuffle. These information gaps come at an untold cost to patients, hospitals, and the economy, writes Stanford University's Ilana Yurkiewicz.

For patient Michael Champion, it meant missing insulin doses carefully written into his discharge form, leaving him in a “near-comatose state.”

Less than half of hospitals electronically integrate data from hospitals beyond their system, leaving doctors to piece together narratives—a process akin to “opening a book to page 200 and being asked to write page 201,” Yurkiewicz writes.

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