Optical Discs for Electronic Health Records

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Optical DiscsOptical discs like blank CDs and DVDs have long been used by the medical industry as a means of recording and archiving medical records and this practice is becoming more important than ever thanks to the recent Supreme Court upholding of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act combined with the Electronic Health Records incentives from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The ARRA was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009 and plans to invest $59 billion in health care initiatives, including $19 billion in healthcare information technology. In a July 2 post by Rimage, a manufacturer of CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, author Pete Steege explains that “healthcare providers are being encouraged with incentives and penalties to exhibit ‘meaningful use’ of electronic medical records, which includes being able to provide an electronic copy of a patient’s medical records upon request.”

One of the ways companies are providing these records is through optical discs.  Discs are easily distributed, easily read, and able to save thousands of pages of paper that could need to be printed for a single patients record. They are also a great way to share patient information with different medical providers and even insurance companies. Further, President Obama has said of the ARRA, “When everything is digitalized, all your records – your privacy is protected, but all your records on a digital form – that reduces medical errors. It means that nurses don’t have to read the scrawl of doctors when they are trying to figure out what treatments to apply. That saves lives; that saves money; and it will still ensure privacy.”