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Tackling Healthcare Priorities with Technology

Edward Prewitt, for HealthLeaders Media, February 14, 2012

Our fourth annual Industry Survey, comprising the views of over 1,000 healthcare executives from a cross-section of organizations across the country, shows technology as a fairly low priority—sixth out of 12 concerns. Health IT, EMR, clinical technology, and other types and uses of technology are a top priority for only 29% of leaders. Move along, nothing here to see?

Yet when you examine executives' highest priorities, technology isn't far under the surface. The top priority listed in our survey is patient experience and satisfaction. While the actions of physicians and nurses most directly affect patient care, caregivers today rely on technology to get their jobs done.

Obviously, clinical technology such as informatics is important in this instance, but healthcare IT also has a big impact. Electronic health records can play an enormous role in improving patient experience. Is anything more powerful in caring for a patient than comprehensive health information delivered quickly?

The second highest priority in our Industry Survey is clinical quality and safety. A study sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation linked clinical quality with computerized physician order entry (CPOE), which reduces the likelihood of errors in medication. Clinical informatics and clinical decision support can also protect quality and safety. Payment reform, in the form of accountable care, is another top priority. EHRs and other electronic linkages are prerequisites for new models of shared savings.

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1 comments on "Tackling Healthcare Priorities with Technology"


Chris Fox - Avantas (2/15/2012 at 8:50 AM)
Mr. Prewitt hit the nail on the head with his statement, "technology is no panacea." Without the proper strategies/policies in place, and ensuring your organization's practices match, any technology will likely not be effective, and at best, not nearly as effective as it should be/has to be. With regard to labor management software, and this is transferable to most healthcare technologies, our view is this: Your software is the tool that automates your plan. Good software and a bad plan only automate a bad plan. Without the necessary groundwork, all you end up with when you implement a technology is automated chaos. The first step is the planning – the inward focus on what you are currently doing that can be improved – and then finding a vendor that can help your organization effectively implement those plans. Technology is no panacea, but if it is paired with sound strategies, policies and practices and backed by buy-in up and down the line, it certainly can work wonders. More about effective planning here: http://avantas.biz/effective-labor-management-starts-with-a-plan/