Chapter 3. Harness Technology

Anyone who still doubts the value of technology in health care should meet Scharmaine Lawson-Baker, a dynamic nurse practitioner who was running a geriatric practice in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck. Her office was inundated with five feet of water, and all her papers were destroyed, including her patients’ medical records.

Several of the 100 people she cared for—homebound and mostly indigent—died in the storm or its immediate aftermath. Like Lawson-Baker herself, some of the survivors relocated to other counties and states, and they began calling her for help. Their new doctors and pharmacies needed to know about their medications, allergies, and lab test results—all the vital information in those records ...

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