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If the US weren’t so far behind in health IT adoption

Some of the differences between wired and unwired medical institutions are striking. Wired institutions produce:

  • a 15 percent lower mortality rate among cardiac patients;
  • a 16 percent overall reduction in complications; and
  • savings of $100 to $500 per patient per episode of care.

Why does health information technology (IT) make such a difference? Consider the physician’s daily challenge: keeping abreast of medical advances; matching therapy to patient; coordinating drugs; and communicating with the treatment team. Now multiply that by a caseload of 25 or 30 patients per day, and the size of the data management and communication challenge starts to come into focus.

Such systems exist but, for the most part, not in the U.S. The rest of the developed world has a big head start in terms of integrating information technology into the practice of medicine. In tiny New Zealand, for instance, 87 percent of physicians already use health IT. In the U.S., the figure is 17 percent.1

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Content/Newsletters/Purchasing-High-Performance/2009/June-18-2009/Feature-Articles/Doctors-vs-Doctors-with-IT-Support-Whos-Better.aspx

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June 20, 2009 - Posted by | Cost, Creative disruption, Electronic health records, Health care delivery | , , ,

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