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Hospitals could be paying heavy cost for failure to adopt IT

May 09, 2013
Healthcare IT By LW Consulting Inc.

Implementing healthcare IT consulting doesn't just have the benefit of keeping a facility up-to-date with the appropriate laws and connected to relevant systems. It can also have an overall positive impact on a practice's productivity, one that can be measured financially. If the cost of conversion seems somewhat daunting to professionals, they should perhaps consider how much money is lost by relying on older systems. A study recently conducted by the Ponemon Institute put a number on this cost that may put the importance of electronic health IT in a bigger perspective.

According to an official release, that number is an average of almost $1 million per hospital in the U.S. every year. The study also calculated the amount of time wasted by those reliant on pieces of technology long since abandoned by many outside of the medical world, particularly electronic beepers and pagers. The total expenditure across all hospitals due to this refusal to adapt has been estimated to be more than $8 billion.

Poor or non-existent access to email, text messaging and Wi-Fi appear to be major stumbling blocks in wider IT adoption, the study said, as doctors lose nearly an hour every day and take longer to release patients due to less sophisticated communication. But on the other hand, the same report also revealed that 85 percent of those surveyed believe HIPAA guidelines make it more difficult to address patients. 

It may seem like a trivial distinction, but a lack of efficiency in healthcare communication can have a disastrous effect on both sides and be an inconvenience to everyone. As the conversation regarding what constitutes the most efficient standards continues, unsure providers can contract a hospital consultant to obtain a better opinion on how to lower their own annual losses.