When Blumenthal Saw the IT Light

Dr. David Blumenthal, chief evangelist in the crusade to move American healthcare into the electronic age, is a recovering Luddite.

Dr. David Blumenthal, chief evangelist in the crusade to move American health care into the electronic age, is a recovering Luddite.

Like many doctors who continue to take a jaundiced view of electronic health records, Blumenthal for a time wandered the paper wilderness, reports Paul McCloskey for Government Health IT.

"I liked my prescription pad," said the national coordinator for health information technology, who gave the keynote address at last week's annual conference of the Health Information and Management Systems Society, in Atlanta. "I liked writing out those requisitions in triplicate."

It wasn't until the technology prevented him from prescribing a harmful drug that Blumenthal became a true believer. Having seen the light, he is confident that the federal government can convert the uninitiated.

"Instead of hanging back," predicted Blumenthal, "physicians will be at the front of this effort to advance the technology."