The federal government should promote national initiatives to make information technologies more widespread, especially electronic medical records in physician offices. These initiatives should include financial support for providers combined with mandates for adoption.
The government might arrange for long-term loans to help finance infrastructure enhancements, especially the adoption of electronic medical records, and in some cases, short-term loans to manage cash flow during the often-difficult practice transformation. Enhanced information technologies will make it much easier for organized systems to incorporate geographically dispersed, but community-based, small practices into their groups, thereby combining organized systems’ ability to manage cost and quality while supporting the patient-centered attitudes that community-based small practices often display.
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