Insurance Giants Creating Massive Database of Patient Records

MicroscopeTwo of California’s largest health insurers are partnering to create a massive database of patient medical records. With just a few strokes of a keyboard, doctors and nurses will be able to access the medical histories of about one in four California residents. Supporters say the effort by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California could mean faster, cheaper and better healthcare. But the system faces significant technological challenges and privacy concerns The benefits could prove useful in emergency rooms, where doctors would be able to review patients’ histories instantly. It’s expected to go online by the end of the year. “We need to bring healthcare into the digital age, and by doing so you can really improve the quality and cost of care,” said Paul Markovich, chief executive of Blue Shield of California according to a recent post in the Los Angeles Times.

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