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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on how automated medical information technology can be used to improve public health care services. GAO found that: (1) automated medical information systems can potentially reduce costs, improve patient care, and increase efficiency; (2) the major barriers to medical information automation include the lack of information standards, legal implications concerning the use of automated medical information, the privacy of medical information, and health care providers' reluctance to use available technology; and (3) Congress needs to provide leadership to expedite medical records standards development and increase its overall support for the development and use of medical information technology.

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