In an op-ed about the VA system today, Betsy McCaughey talks about a new technology called computer physician order entry (CPOE) that cuts down on physician errors:
With CPOE, a doctor enters the prescription at a computer terminal instead of scribbling it on a pad. The computer identifies incorrect doses or a medication that conflicts with other meds the patient is taking. If the computer sounds an alarm, the physician has to override it. In Australia, Britain, New Zealand and much of Western Europe, hospitals have adopted CPOE, but most U.S. hospitals have resisted. An exception is the VA, which has installed CPOE nationwide.
Question for the free market crowd: if you oppose national healthcare because you think it will reduce the pace of medical innovation, how do you explain this? Why is it that the VA and the national healthcare systems in Europe have all adopted this plainly useful innovation but American hospitals mostly haven't?