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Healthcare industry needs I.T. professionals

Recently IT Business Edge published a blog titled is IT Integration a National Health Care Crisis. Journalist Loraine Lawson points out that, despite a Bush administration stated goal of having a health care industry with 100 % electronic management records adoption by 2014, the progress has been slow due to inadequate funding.

Lawson points to an article from Baseline Magazine which depicts the story of Bernard Burks – a man who was waiting for Kaiser Permanente hospital to replace his failing kidney. Apparently, his medical records were lost along the credit he had accumulated after spending three years on Kaiser’s kidney transplant waiting list. Kaiser moved their treatment to another medical center.

It turned out Lawson was not alone in his frustrations. A whistle-blower reported increasing wait times and other problems at Kaiser to the media and a subsequent audit exposed a number of information management problems — including a lack of specified procedures in regard to information transfer and no master list or database for patient names.

Lawson’s article points out that at present, the health care industry only invests two percent of its revenue in IT. However, that needs to change. According to a Wisconsin Technology Network article, Without fuller IT adoption, health costs might drain America’s wealth, it needs to change soon. In the article St. Luke’s health systems information officer and vice president John Wade says that healthcare costs now “consume 15.2 % of the nation’s G. D. P.” If left unchecked, those numbers could rise to 28 percent in the next ten years.

Channel professionals could benefit from paying attention to this argument, for obvious reasons. The healthcare industry needs you! You might even want to get in on the debate. What do you think? Please let us know.


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