Electronic health records, brought to you by Wal-Mart

The Australian government doesn’t appear keen on consumer-led e-health solutions such as Google Health or Microsoft Health Vault. Well, it could be worse: here’s an excerpt from The New York Times this week:

Wal-Mart Stores is striding into the market for electronic health records, seeking to bring the technology into the mainstream for physicians in small offices, where most of America’s doctors practice medicine.

“Wal-Mart’s move comes as the Obama administration is trying to jump-start the adoption of digital medical records with $19 billion of incentives in the economic stimulus package.

“The company plans to team its Sam’s Club division with Dell for computers and eClinicalWorks, a fast-growing private company, for software. Wal-Mart says its package deal of hardware, software, installation, maintenance and training will make the technology more accessible and affordable, undercutting rival health information technology suppliers by as much as half.

“’We’re a high-volume, low-cost company,’ said Marcus Osborne, senior director for health care business development at Wal-Mart. ‘And I would argue that mentality is sorely lacking in the health care industry.’

“The Sam’s Club offering, to be made available this spring, will be under $25,000 for the first physician in a practice, and about $10,000 for each additional doctor. After the installation and training, continuing annual costs for maintenance and support will be $4,000 to $6,500 a year, the company estimates.”

Read the whole story here