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Up from the basement (Part 2)

pointer By Michael E. Hilts,

HMT1010_Mike_HiltsHorror stories aside, what stands out as the best technologies these CIOs deployed over the years? For Denis Baker, vice president and chief information officer for Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System in Florida, it's a centralized data storage system from EMC. He notes that if they followed conventions of the day, each system would have its own data storage — and its own process for accessing, monitoring, maintaining and backups.

"As we prepared for our EMR implementation, the concept of the longitudinal patient record was emerging," Baker says. "We decided we wanted a system to keep everything, on every patient, forever — not simply the seven years that would meet regulatory requirements."

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Up from the basement

pointer By Michael E. Hilts, October, 2010

hiltsHistory. We're told to know it, to remember it, or be "condemned to repeat it."

The good news about healthcare IT's history of the past 30 years: it's not possible to repeat. The landscape has changed too much, on too many fronts. There will be no return to the era of green bar reports, green screens and dumb terminals. Even as all the software, hardware and IT architectures have changed, so has healthcare itself. America has gone through a roller coaster of changes, trying to find the right model under which to deliver and pay for care, going from fee for service, to managed care, to patient-centric concepts.

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What if healthcare’s Holy Grail is a paper cup?

pointer By Damon Braly, September, 2010

bralyAt times, it feels as if I've made a career out of writing about the healthcare industry's quest to rid itself of paper. It started back in the mid 1990s when I served a brief stint as editor of this magazine. I left the magazine in 1996 to create my company that focuses on writing about health information technology (IT), and I have been doing that ever since. On a fundamental level, the recurring theme in most of the topics that I've written about during the past 16 years entails some clinical, financial or operational component that focuses on using technology to reduce or eliminate paper-based processes.

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Computers in Hospitals, HMT celebrates 30 years

pointer By Bill Childs, September, 2010
Time really does fly when you're having fun. The story of how this magazine came to be actually begins in the 1960s. I was at Lockheed Missiles & Space Company in Sunnyvale, Calif., when a few adventurous entrepreneurs gathered to consider building a medical information system (MIS) and a business office system (BOS). At some point, I drew the short straw to head up the development of the financial information system. Actually, this set very well with me because our clinical team was sent off to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in the dead of winter in 1967 to study the possibilities of an electronic medical record (EMR) and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) system, along with work-flow design and clinical process optimization.

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Voice recognition: The key to hospital dominance

pointer By Tim K. Zinn, September, 2010

Although still three to five years away, digitized voice recognition and input may hold the key to a comprehensive electronic patient clinical record.

Editor's Note: This is the 12th and final installment in our year-long 30th anniversary "Pioneers in Healthcare IT" celebration, featuring articles from past issues of Health Management Technology, formerly called Computers in Healthcare. This article appeared in the December 1991 issue. At the time, Tim Zinn was president of Zinn Enterprises Ltd., a Chicago-based hospital information system consulting organization. A graduate of Harvard, Zinn was a nationally known healthcare consultant and futurist specializing in healthcare trends.

pioneerDigitized voice recognition has far-reaching ramifications for healthcare information systems (HIS). It holds great promise in the hospital setting, where most professionals are working with their eyes and hands continually. This approach will allow doctors and nurses to enter information about their tasks while they are actually working, rather than relying on their memories to record accurate facts at a later time.

Documenting while doing is especially advantageous for those charged with making detailed and accurate records that are both timely and critical in nature, a situation physicians and nurses encounter regularly during the course of patient care. Further, information can subsequently be sorted into multiple data formats with only one handwritten copy of doctors' orders. Clearly, this form of data entry will not only be more convenient, but will capture close to 100 percent of clinically necessary information, as opposed to the 40 percent that current HIS automation now captures.

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Healthcare’s survival in the Information Age

pointer By Gail Warden and Thomas McNulty, August, 2010

Strategic planning, CEO leadership, user consensus and close collaboration
with software vendors are keys to creating an effective information system.

Warden-McNultyEditor's Note: The is the 11th installment in our year-long 30th anniversary "Pioneers in Healthcare IT" celebration, featuring articles from past issues of Health Management Technology, formerly called Computers in Healthcare. This article appeared in the March 1992 issue. At the time, Gail Warden was CEO of the Henry Ford Health System, and Thomas McNulty was senior vice president and CFO of the Henry Ford Health System.

The healthcare sector is one of the largest data producers of any industry. How providers use this data will prove extremely important as the industry progresses in the Information Age. Healthcare has always been labor intensive, but now it is becoming equally information intensive.

A 1990 survey conducted by Mecon Associates indicated that most healthcare executives were disappointed in the benefits derived from the information systems they use. This may be due to the complex process for the use and distribution of information and the fact that many systems are purchased with little regard to system integration.

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LIS technologies must grow into the 21st century

pointer By Jack Darnell, July, 2010

DarnellOperating a laboratory in the 1990s and beyond will require managers — and laboratory information systems — to closely consider four trends: quality outcomes measurement, patient view of clinical information, point-of-care testing and community health networks.

In the 1970s, a few forward-thinking healthcare institutions took a bold leap into the future by implementing a system to automate and track certain tests and procedures in their laboratories.

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Architectural strategy: key issue of the 1990s

pointer By Jay E. Toole, June, 2010

headshot_optWhat architectural strategy should my hospital adopt?" How you answer this question when developing an information systems strategy will have significant implications on your hospital's operations in the 1990s — and into the 21st century.

Generally, three architectural models have emerged in the marketplace: single vendors, core systems and open systems. All have advantages, and each has a place in today's varied and volatile market. Making the choice involves careful consideration of important issues.

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The cost of data processing

pointer By Art Randall, May, 2010
Art Randal

One of the strongest characteristics that I have observed of data processing in the hospital industry is the emphasis upon cost rather than results. I have heard statements such as "Our system costs only $1 a patient day," while at the same time their days in receivables were in the high 80s. I have heard others that chose systems based upon the low bid by the vendor, with little or no attention given to the personnel cost that would accrue.

Take, for example, a decision to order and install a new computer, based upon the old saw that it "does more and costs less." Most of us still cling to the idea that the computer itself is the largest single cost of data processing, while we have, at the same time, seen DP costs rise overall, and the cost of computers continue a decreasing cost slide that has been in existence for the past 20 years.

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Who’s Managing Your Revenue Cycle?

pointer April, 2010
Ontario  Systems

As hospitals are continually challenged to improve patient care, reduce costs and...

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Profile: Charles Barlow

pointer April, 2010
Charles BarlowCharles Barlow, vice president in charge of MCAUTO's health services division, is a pioneer in healthcare data processing. He began his career in the healthcare field in 1948 as an employee of a major oil company that operated a 100-bed hospital in the West Indies. The early part of his business career included approximately 10 years of international assignments involving residencies in South Africa, Australia and the Middle East, as well as in the West Indies.

In the late 1950s, Barlow joined the professional staff of a large international engineering and management consulting firm headquartered on the East Coast where many of his consulting assignments were with hospitals and utility companies. In the early 1960s, Barlow became a strong proponent of the shared concept for automating hospital financial procedures.

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Increasing ROI from EMR/CPOE

pointer By Wolters, March, 2010

Trusted clinical content and advanced decision support drive







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Nursing’s role in computerization

pointer By Fotine D. O’Connor, RN, M.N., February, 2010
 Fotine D. O'Connor, RN, M.N.

Will nurses serve the computer or will the computer serve nursing? This may well be the question for nurses and the industry to answer in this decade.

Acceptance of computers in hospitals will be greatly influenced by whether nurses, the largest population in the healthcare field, accept them on friendly terms. That may depend on how well the industry helps nurses identify, define and meet the needs of nurses through computers.

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Enthusiasm for Reengineering Systems Slow to Catch On

pointer By Carolyn Dunbar, February, 2010

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