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Healthcare IT consulting can pave way for enhanced patient safety

December 04, 2012
Uncategorized By LW Consulting Inc.

The last few years have seen an immense push for medical facilities to fully enter the digital age. Electronic medical records and meaningful use requirements were designed to improve quality of care and simplify certain processes for physicians while still remaining cost-effective.

In order for innovative systems such as these to have a chance to work, medical facilities need to ensure that the implementation process runs smoothly and all employees are properly trained. Partnering with healthcare consulting firms that specialize in healthcare IT consulting will be highly beneficial.

The New England Health Institute emphasized the value of underutilized IT tools, such as computerized physician order entry (CPOE).

The non-profit organization refers to CPOE as "a revolutionary computer application designed to intercept errors where they usually occur - at the time medications and diagnostic tests are ordered. Not only does CPOE automate the order-writing function, it also incorporates clinical decision support during the order-entry process."

Even so, U.S. hospitals have not been in a rush to fully implement such systems. HIMSS Analytics reported that almost two-thirds of the nation's hospitals have yet to install a CPOE into their repertoire. 

Paul Cerrato of InformationWeek Healthcare explained that price is a main detriment for many institutions. However, while initial implementation might seem expensive, the results will pay for themselves. A report from the NEHI and Massachusetts Technology Collaborative found that a CPOE that includes robust clinical decision support could reduce adverse medicinal reactions and unnecessary drug and laboratory test use, generating an annual savings to each hospital of $2.7 million.

Healthcare strategic planning is crucial for medical facilities to effectively evolve with technology, all the while ensuring patient safety. Working with a hospital consultant will make the transitional period easier on physicians as well as their patients.