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      Health care records to go electronic

      For medical practices in Amarillo, it's been a long road from paper charts to electronic health records, and the changes haven't been easy.

      "We implemented in 2006, it was a long ongoing process," said Amarillo Family Physician's Clinic Administrator Amelia Nelson.

      Staff changes and increased spending on training were also contributing factors. ??

      "We went electronic roughly October of 2011, it was awful," said Dr. Candace Lipshy of 9th Avenue Optical. "It took us six months to put the pieces back together

      The Amarillo Family Physician's Clinic and 9th Avenue Optical said the implementation of electronic records, also known as Meaningful Use, has been beneficial to business.

      "It's been a tremendous benefit over having paper charts because your electronic chart, is right at your fingertips," said Nelson.

      "It makes it easier between doctors to see what's going on," said Dr. Lipshy. "So if I see one of the other doctors' patients, it's a lot easier to read the notes and see what they had in mind to do with this patient."

      C hanges to Texas health care may not be over. Texas State Senate Bill 166 is asking officials to consider the collection of patient information from the swipe of a driver's license.

      Supporters said Bill 166 would help improve payment systems and prevent insurance fraud.