Health Reform Revisionism

January 12, 2010
by Mary Carmichael |

Most would agree that America's system for identifying outbreaks early is in need of improvement. A recent report, issued by the health advocacy organization Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found "serious underlying gaps in the nation's ability to respond to public health emergencies...[including] a lack of real-time coordinated disease surveillance and laboratory testing, outdated vaccine production capabilities, limited hospital surge capacity, and a shrinking public-health workforce."

And electronic medical records, as they're currently provided for in the health-care-reform bills, aren't likely to change much of that-and they wouldn't have helped experts track most of the exotic pathogens that have cropped up in the last few years.

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