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A Piece of My Mind
June 20, 2012

The Cost of Technology

Author Affiliations
 

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Senior Editor.

Author Affiliations: Departments of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island (etoll@lifespan.org).

JAMA. 2012;307(23):2497-2498. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.4946

No one was more surprised than the physician himself. The drawing was unmistakable. It showed the artist—a 7-year-old girl—on the examining table. Her older sister was seated nearby in a chair, as was her mother, cradling her baby sister. The doctor sat staring at the computer, his back to the patient—and everyone else. All were smiling. The picture was carefully drawn with beautiful colors and details, and you couldn't miss the message. When he saw the drawing, the physician wrote a caption for it: “The economic stimulus bill has directed $20 billion to health care information technology, largely funding electronic medical record incentives. I wonder how much this technology will really cost?”

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