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Ask the Experts


To commemorate our 30th anniversary in healthcare IT, Health Management Technology asked industry experts about the most signifi cant technologies introduced over the past few decades and what new technologies and challenges they see on the horizon.

(L. to r.): Daniel O’Donnell, Lauren Bellon, Kelly Feist, Justin Barnes, Betty Otter-Nickerson, Jonathan Teich, Tom Stephenson, Steve Emery, Doug Bilbrey

The past 30 years has seen a lot of technology change. What do you see as the most signifi cant, game-changing technologies introduced in the past few decades? What technologies do you see providing the most signifi cant opportunity for healthcare providers going forward?

Daniel O’Donnell

The most game-changing technology has been the object-oriented database. This has enabled healthcare IT systems to better fi t the extreme data intensity, need for rapid fl exibility, numbers of concurrent us- ers and massively scalable databases required for large healthcare enterprises. Moving forward, coordinating care for millions of complex patients, in large regional or even national systems, is possible only with appli- cations based on massively scalable and fl exible core technology.

Lauren Bellon

I can no longer imagine (or care to) a world without EMRs and their supporting technologies. These tech- nologies help clinicians pull together all the critical content in the right context of where and when they need it. As a result, clinicians have an easier pathway to

26 September 2010

making the right decisions safely and more effi ciently. Bar code medication administration (BCMA) and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) have also made great strides in helping providers improve patient safety and effi ciency. Today, mobile technology has the greatest opportu- nity to impact care delivery. When you take the afore- mentioned technologies, the Internet, search engines and other relevant clinical applications and load them onto, say, an iPad, technology accessibility and usability increases dramatically. Even social media provides new forums for collaboration among friends and entices even the staunchest of laggards to jump online and get their feet wet exploring new uses of technology.

Kelly Feist In radiology, we have seen the introduction of multi- slice CT scanning technology, hybrid imaging modalities such as PET-CT and contrast-based MR studies that deliver advanced anatomic and functional studies. In cardiology, we have seen the introduction of fl at detec- tor imaging techniques in angiography and drug-eluting stents for revascularization procedures. In pathology, we are at the beginning of the curve for clinical adoption of whole-slide digital imaging. In the lab, molecular and esoteric testing deliver DNA-specifi c data that is just now being used to determine more personalized treatment plans for individuals.



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