How Information Technology Can Reduce the Cost of
Health Care
By Chuck Kosmider

                  Health care  is an esse...
choosing the brands that are affordable to him. The record can also instantly
       identify harmful drug interactions an...
that manufacture medical technology are jumping on this bandwagon with their
inventions and innovations, with claims that ...
IBM Chief Pitches Obama on $30 Billion Investment in IT
By Darryl K. Taft

Article Rating:         /1

Though h...
Information Technology Articles
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Information Technology Articles

  1. 1. How Information Technology Can Reduce the Cost of Health Care By Chuck Kosmider Health care is an essential aspect of society. Health care services promote better living through medical, dental, pharmaceutical and nursing professions. Unfortunately, though, health care is also an expensive commodity. Prescription drugs can be very costly, due to the need to undertake much research and development. New medicines, new procedures and new equipment contribute to the high costs of health care. However, new technologies can also lead to cost savings and efficiency. And so the problem of expensive health care can be solved by adequate use of information technology in the health care system. The integration of information technology to health care, or the use of software and hardware to process information more efficiently, can have a strong impact on cost reduction. Less expensive health care means accessibility and availability of health services to everyone. Here are some ways by which IT can help lower the costs of health care. • Health Information Technology HIT provides the umbrella framework of comprehensively managing health related information. HIT, in general, is seen as one of the most promising tools for enhancing the quality, efficiency and safety of the health delivery system. HIT is described as the hardware and software that process information pertinent to storing, retrieving, sharing, and use of healthcare knowledge. This knowledge is then used for more effective communication among healthcare professionals, and for better decision making. This includes maintaining health records online, so doctors can more easily access information when the need arises. • Internet Research for Home Health Care If a patient communicates with a physician through the Internet, it could reduce the percentage of in-office visits. People will reduce instances of having to go for an actual visit to the clinic, saving time and money. Thirty percent of health care costs are spent on clinical inefficiency and redundant administrative costs. By communicating online, the healthcare system can reduce costs by streamlining and merging back office administrative processes of plans and providers. • Approval of Electronic Health Records Prescription error is common in today's health care setting, and this can prove to be serious or even fatal. The use of online health records can help significantly reduce errors, and therefore the cost of healthcare. Such as system will allow the physician to enter notes about a patient's care and condition into a computerized record. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to have to physically retrieve a patient's charts from office files. The electronic health record also prompts providers to prescribe generic drugs instead of more costly brand name medications, which gives a patient more flexibility in
  2. 2. choosing the brands that are affordable to him. The record can also instantly identify harmful drug interactions and possible allergic reactions to prescribed drugs. • E-Prescribing This is the ability to send an accurate, error-free and comprehensible prescription directly to a pharmacy from the point-of-care. This further reduces possible mistakes and errors arising from buying medicine from over the counter or incorrectly filled prescriptions. Combining the efficiency of computers and the client centered health care system would pave the way to better health and improved sickness prevention. These innovations show how health care is fast adapting to the computer age, thus reducing human error, decreasing transaction costs, and improving efficiency. HFMA: More than half of hospitals losing money April 15, 2009 Fifty-four percent of hospitals had negative total margins during the first-quarter of fiscal year 2009, including 80% of hospitals with 500 or more beds, according to a nationally representative survey by the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Eight in 10 hospitals report declines in non-operating revenue since the economic recession began last summer, and seven in 10 report fewer days cash on hand. Four in 10 hospitals report a decline in net patient revenue and investment losses of 25% or more. The findings are consistent with data reported last month by the AHA. Will Medical Technology Reduce Healthcare Costs? Syndicated from Medicine and Technology by Joseph Kim, MD, MPH by mdjosephkim | Sat, 08/08/2009 - 8:06pm | original article post a comment | comments (0) This is a guest post by Adrienne Carlson. Will Medical Technology Reduce Healthcare Costs? While the debate over the pros and cons of President Obama’s healthcare plans and reforms rage on, other measures are being taken to decrease the overall cost of providing healthcare to people in the long run. Companies
  3. 3. that manufacture medical technology are jumping on this bandwagon with their inventions and innovations, with claims that their products will help reduce healthcare costs in the long run. Medical technology businesses are already testing out digestible chips that check if you’re taking your prescribed medication correctly. The chips will be attached to your medication, and using a sensing device worn on your skin, will be able to tell doctors if you are getting the right dose of medicine and also read them your vital signs. The whole system works using wireless technology, taking advantage of the vast infrastructure that is already being used by mobile phones and notebook computers. The technology is supposed to allow doctors to monitor you even though you are at a distant location and to provide medical attention if your signs seem to show some anomaly. The entire premise of this concept is based on the fact that hospital visits and hospital stays because of unnoticed and hence untreated symptoms contribute to a large percentage of healthcare costs. So if this cost can be reduced using this technology, it augurs well for the people who really need healthcare to be affordable. But, even though there may be some truth in this supposition, the fact remains that: • The initial cost of the technology is going to be pretty high, especially when it is in its infancy and still in the post experimental stage. • Only those who can afford it are going to buy it, given that they believe it will work. • Insurers may not be willing to back this technology on the grounds that it is unproven and expensive, just as they refuse to cover other experimental treatments like bone marrow transplants. • If the treatment is not covered by insurance, how does it help bring down the cost of healthcare? • Most hospitals and doctors would not want to invest their time and effort in technology for which they are not reimbursed by insurance companies. While it is true that such technology does help improve the quality and effectiveness of healthcare for those who can afford it, it is arguable if it will help bring down healthcare costs, even in the long run. This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of radiography technician salary. Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: adrienne.carlson1@gmail.comTrouble viewing the contents? Visit by Dr. Joseph Kim. Follow @DrJosephKim on Twitter. Articles Cont. Below
  4. 4. IBM Chief Pitches Obama on $30 Billion Investment in IT By Darryl K. Taft 2009-01-07 Article Rating: /1 Though he's not talking about the same kind of bailout the U.S. auto and finance industries have gotten, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano has told members of the Barack Obama transition team that a $30 billion government investment in the IT industry could lead to the creation of more than 900,000 jobs in areas such as broadband access, health care IT and upgrading the electrical grid. The Wall Street Journal reported that IBM CEO Sam Palmisano has advised the Obama team that a government investment of $30 billion could create more than 900,000 jobs for U.S. workers. Palmisano addressed Barack Obama's transition team in December in response to a request from the president-elect's advisers on the job-creating capabilities of the IT industry. In response, IBM's Palmisano delivered a presentation to the transition team stating that a $30 billion investment in expanding broadband access, computerizing health care records and improving the electrical grid could create more than 900,000 U.S. jobs, the Journal report said. The Wall Street Journal reported that IBM worked with a Washington think tank known as the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation to evaluate potential job development possibilities in three areas: broadband, health care IT and "smart grid" technologies. According to the Journal, the IBM/Information Technology and Innovation Foundation research said that investing $10 billion in broadband networks to provide high-speed Internet access to areas that lack it would create 498,000 new jobs in a year, while a $10 billion investment in health care IT could create 212,000 jobs. In addition, IBM said a $10 billion investment in upgrading the electrical grid would lead to the creation of 239,000 additional jobs. Moreover, IBM officials said Palmisano recommended the use of green data centers by the government, including converting existing data centers to green ones.