Docs' IT Program Expands

Physician's Money Digest, July31 2004, Volume 11, Issue 14

The cost of changing to an electronicmedical records system has keptmany physicians on the fringes of thetechnology revolution, but that mayeventually change. Bridges to Excellence(800-224-7161; www.bridgestoexcellence.org), a program that rewardsdoctors for switching to computerizedsystems and has been runningon a trial basis in Louisville, Ky,and Cincinnati, Ohio, is now expandingto Boston, Mass, and Albany, NY. Theprogram is run by several large corporations,including GE, Ford, UPS, andVerizon, in conjunction with theNational Committee for Quality Assurance.It pays doctors a per-patientpremium of as much as $50 for installingelectronic systems. Programofficials predict that once the computerizedsystems are up and running, theycan improve the quality of care bytracking treatment and preventingdrug interactions, while cutting patientcarecosts by 4% or 5%.