The entire point of IT is to make our lives easier, to enable effective data transmission, leverage pooled resources and automate for the common good. Given Claris Networks’ extensive experience in the health and medical information technology industry, this is especially obvious to us. An article in Information Week
by Marianne McGee pinpoints nine specific ways nationwide health IT adoption and electronic medical records systems will improve patient care.
1. Mobile E-Prescribing
“98,000 Americans die each year from preventable medical mistakes. E-prescribing applications allow doctors to check on patient's medication history, allergies, potential adverse interaction with other drugs,” ultimately saving lives.
2. RFID Patient Tracking
These small Wi-Fi devices are the new hospital bracelets. They help ensure medical staff treat the right patient the right ways and alert personnel if a patient leaves a ward unattended.
3. Mobile Healthcare Applications
Clinicians and patients can enter and access health information very quickly with mobile application enabled laptops, PDAs and smartphones.
4. E-Medical Records
Authorized clinicians can access patient EMRs securely from multiple locations.
5. Pharmacy Safety
Computerized physician order entry allows drug orders to be sent electronically to pharmacies.
6. E-Prescribing Software
Software connects clinicians and payers.
7. Medication Error Tracking
“Business intelligence and clinical decision support tools allow healthcare providers to analyze health data, including zeroing in on how and why medical mistakes, such as drug errors, occur.” This allows for proactive process management and improving staff training.
8. Bedside Medication Barcode Scanning
Scanning devices enable caregivers to reconcile patients with administered medications.
9. Workflow Management Systems
“Pharmacy workflow systems … automate inventory management from the receiving dock to patient's bedside, helping to reduce process inefficiencies and improving drug dispensing accuracy in hospitals.”
Given your research and experience, are there IT-related advances lacking on this list that could also significantly improve patient care?