Paper Kills 2.0: Using Health Information Technology to Save Lives and Save Money
Think of the first time you saw an iPhone in action. Or the first time you browsed the Internet or the first PC you bought. What did you think? Most were probably blown away. We intuitively knew that we held something transformational.
What do you think when you see a paper medical record? Rather than the excitement of innovation and progress, it’s typically something like, “Do I really have to fill this information out again?” And that’s just the convenience factor. Most of us are unaware of the price we pay for both lower quality care and higher costs.
For these reasons and more, it is essential that we move healthcare into the 21st century through health information technology. The benefits are clear. Updated, accurate, and comprehensive patient information at the point of care will prevent medical errors and will allow physicians, nurses, and providers to make better, more informed decisions. Electronic access to information will reduce duplicative and unnecessary tests and treatments. Automating cumbersome, manual processes will streamline workflow, eliminate inefficiencies, and lower costs. These are facts.
The Obama administration will invest tens of billions of dollars to get modern tools like electronic health records into the hands of doctors and other providers.
Will it be enough? What are the solutions that ultimately get the 96% of physicians who don’t currently use an advanced electronic medical record to adopt and “meaningfully” use one? What are the solutions that will ultimately lead to a modern, electronic, interoperable system?