New York Times, May 21, 2018
Gina Kolata

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[...] In the United States, there is no single format used by all providers, and hospitals have no incentive to make it easy to transfer records from one place to another. The medical records mess is hobbling research and impeding attempts to improve patient care.

“Data are trapped,” said Dr. Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute. “This is a huge problem. It is phenomenally important.”

The cancer institute has invested millions of dollars into determining the genetic sequences of patients’ tumors, and researchers have found thousands of genes that seem to drive tumor growth.

But until patients’ medical records are linked to the genetic data, life-or-death questions cannot be answered. [...]

genetics health information technology public health research