Clinicians are reimbursed on quantity, not on quality, so physicians in particular have been hesitant to accept that IT leads to greater effi ciency, as has been the case in nearly every commercial endeavor. Health reform is driving
reimbursement to a quality-based model and driving clinical HIT as a mechanism to manage reimbursement. In the case of fi nancial practice management, HIT has been overwhelmingly adopted because a clear ROI can be demonstrated – provider organizations can essentially not survive without it. When the same can be said for clinical IT, it will gain the same level of acceptance.
mechanism to Tom Stephenson
Our customer base is community hospitals and they still view IT as a necessary negative because of the capital cost and the challenges with changing work habits among staff and physicians. For those hospitals that take the initiative, the outcome is generally good; staff and physicians don’t want to go back to paper. Physicians and hospitals begin to understand the negotiating power derived from the clinical quality and cost data that comes from a fully integrated HIT system. The challenge is getting providers to that point.
ysicians and Kelly Feist
In addition to the leadership in adoption of information technology, the lab has taken the initiative to couple the technology with Six Sigma processes to drive further effi ciencies and reduce variation in their processes. This combined effort is key to decreasing the potential for errors in the testing and resulting processes, upon which approximately 70 percent of patient care decisions are based. Laboratory test results are among the most
requested pieces of information by all constituents within the healthcare value chain.
The emergence of the personal computer and the transition from the mainframe computer system to server- based applications brought an entire new suite of applications to healthcare providers that penetrated all facets of the delivery and administrative areas of healthcare IT. This has profoundly affected the embracement of technology by all users in provider organizations. You can see this when you visit any hospital
bll se s
emergency room. Registrations are done via computer; benefi ts are verifi ed real time; co-pays and/or deductibles are paid; diagnostic procedures are conducted; and results are available in minutes [instead of] hours. From there, nurses are able to chart what was done for the patient, and the coding and billing processes are completed typically in a day or two (at the most), with a claim being sent to the payer immediately thereafter with an electronic remittance likely received in less than 10 days. Most of this can be done with minimal administrative overhead, paperwork or data entry. Permanent records can be maintained, thereby reducing storage costs and ensuring access more readily to the provider organization. IT is now one of the most important departments in the healthcare enterprise, and I cannot imagine any provider not appreciating the impact IT has had on the improvements described herein.
M.D., senior advisor, medical informatics, InterSystems Lauren Bellon
vice president, healthcare solutions and strategy, Perceptive Software
vice president, marketing, Sunquest Information Systems Justin Barnes
vice president, marketing, corporate development and government affairs, Greenway Medical Technologies; chairman emeritus, Electronic Health Record Association
president, Sage Healthcare Division Jonathan Teich
M.D., Ph.D., chief medical informatics offi cer, Elsevier Health
CEO, Healthcare Management Systems Steve Emery
director of product management, HealthPort Doug Bilbrey
executive vice president, sales and marketing, The SSI Group
www.healthmgttech.com HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY October 2010 11