Wow. Intel, Wal-Mart, and British Petroleum are joining hands (subscription required) in a "Kum Ba Ya" moment to try to develop an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) for their employees, housed on their own data warehouse creating the ultimate in shareware.
Hospitals, doctors, insurers, and the employers will have unfettered access to those records, but "they will belong to the employee." *Sigh*
But perhaps this data-sharing could be a good thing: fewer repeated tests, better continuity of care, a central repository of information where a consistent standard of information can be located. And yes, a wonderful place to see which doctors and hospitals are "performing" and which are not: who to pay, and who not to pay.
Employers are fed up with rising health costs and are rustling up their sleeves to do something about it. This, folks, is gonna happen.
The biggest issue now facing us: health care policy has to keep up with the advances in the EMRs being developed, or once your data is out there in the electronic ethos, it's out there for the millenium, just like, as the article says, "a Paris Hilton sex video."