The Olympics signify strength, athletics and national pride. While the Olympic torch sparks a unanimous feeling of honor among the athletes, these games have a different impact on various industries. For example, medical doctors see the Olympics as another arena for healthcare IT.
Last week, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced that electronic medical records (EMRs) will be used at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games when treating athletes for potential injuries, according to the Examiner. The USOC will be implementing General Electric's Centricity Practice Solution when providing care to more than 700 Olympic competitors. Along with these individuals, the USOC will be managing 3,000 more EMRs during this time.
Information technology will save this organization vital costs that can be utilized in medications or scanning equipment when treating the patients. The USOC will not need to pay for paper medical records, which includes the shipping and transferring of these documents. Also, EMRs are likely to improve care as they decrease the chance of committing medical errors.
"EMR technology will allow us to better monitor and analyze the health of Team USA athletes," Dr. Bill Moreau, USOC managing director of sports medicine, told the news source. "Our elite athletes have dedicated themselves to performing at the highest levels in sport and I believe this technology will help us to support them with the highest levels of sports medicine."
However, with the growth of mobile technology and the utilization of health IT products, it becomes important for healthcare facilities and medical providers to protect private patient data and store this information in a secure, safe location. Especially with high-profile Olympic athletes, the potential for committing HIPAA violations becomes more severe.
Medical professionals who wish to secure patient information may benefit from partnering with a company that provides healthcare IT consulting services.