Wal-Mart to sell low-cost electronic health record systems to docs

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Known for its low-cost food, clothing and appliances, Wal-Mart soon will be offering reasonably priced electronic health record systems.

The big box store will join forces this spring with Dell computers and eClinicalWorks, a provider of healthcare information technology, to offer low-cost EHR systems to physicians, The New York Times reports. Systems are expected to cost $25,000 for the first physician and $10,000 for additional physicians in a particular practice. They would include both hardware-supplied by Dell-and EHR software-supplied by eClinicalWorks. A $19 billion healthcare information technology initiative in the recent stimulus package would provide physicians more than $40,000 over several years for implementation of EHRs, according to the Times.

A former Bush administration healthcare IT official told the Times that such low-cost EHR systems from Wal-Mart could be a "game changer" in the industry's efforts to spur adoption of the technology. Long-term care is working with the rest of healthcare to contribute its portion to the development of an electronic health record system. Bush had set a goal of 2014 for the establishment of such a system.