US Hospitals Increasing Use Of Health Information Technology
The U.S. health care system -- traditionally a"notoriously paper bound industry" -- is increasingly adopting health care information technology in an effort to improve patient safety,satisfaction and efficiency, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. According to the Inquirer,the growth in usage is in "response to pressure to reduce errors, use space and employees more efficiently, and give savvy patients reasons to choose a particular hospital over a competitor."
Many hospitals, including the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, are adopting electronic medical record systems. HUP uses a new system that enables staff to track each patient and bed to monitor both availability and patient transfers to other departments and hospitals.Other hospitals across the nation are using health care IT that allows patients to check themselves in using tablet computers, schedule their own appointments by computer and print medical records from the Internet.
Daniel Garrett, director of PricewaterhouseCoopers' health care IT division, noted that the government in recent years has demanded higher quality IT in terms of medial records and treatment efficiency. "It's really picking up over the last three, four, five years. It went from kind of rhetoric to PowerPoint discussion to being much more real," Garrett said (Burling, Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/22).
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