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Will Digital Health Records Ever Happen?
CNBC.com | September 12, 2011 | 10:35 AM EDT

“Physicians and physicians' practices are shelling out a lot of money," says Medpage's Mattera.

Among the big and small players are General Electric , Athena Health, NextGen , eClinicalWorks , Allscripts , Epic and Ingenix .

“GE has deep inroads with medical equipment, and a vast medical sales force," says Jack W. Plunkett, of Plunkett Research, a leading analyst in the medical field. “Athena Health has also gotten got out there early with its comprehensive system.”

Carrott And Stick

Going digital sounds easy but the rollout has had its share of wrinkles, on top of the basic human reluctance to embrace dramatic change and more focused reservations about new adopting technology.

For one, adoption costs money and has hidden costs, such as the downtime and training, which appears to be a burden for some.

“Sole practices cannot afford it or feel that they can’t afford it," says Mattera.

“We need to get more smaller physicians, nurse practitioners, and PAs using it as well," adds Rosemarie Nelson, a principal at Medical Group Management Association.

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