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Integrate healthcare technology without sacrificing compassion

May 23, 2013
Healthcare Consulting By LW Consulting Inc.

Implementing new computer systems and other technologies into medical facilities is hardly ever completely smooth, and many organizations are working hard to eliminate the glitches. However, it is important to not sacrifice quality patient care in the process.

According to a study published this week in BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, physician utilization increased when physicians and their delegates in the emergency department (ED) are "modeled as pseudo-agents in a discrete event simulation."

The new approach helped increase utilization from 23 to 41 percent, while delegate utilization increased from 56 to 71 percent.

Researchers explained in their report that with overcrowded EDs, increased patient demands and constricting budgets, administrators are trying to find a solution that does not sacrifice one over the other. Furthermore, there are times when physician trainees are neglected by more experienced staff.

The report explained that 30 percent of a physician's time is actually spent with the patient--examining and treating--while the remainder is spent on other tasks such as teaching, charting, interactions with the nursing staff and addressing family member concerns.

"Neglecting these relationships could lead to inefficient resource allocation due to inaccurate estimates of physician and delegate time spent on patient related activities and length of stay," the researchers said.

Additionally, modeling the interaction between physician and delegate can have an impact on predicted patient and waiting time.

Partnering with a hospital consultant who is also well-trained in healthcare IT consulting can help medical facilities integrate new systems without compromising patient care. Additionally, they can ensure that doctors are able to effectively pass on knowledge to those who are in training.