The U.S. health care industry has been slow to transform itself, largely because doctors and hospital administrators have been laggards in adopting new information technology. Researchers, including those at the Institute of Medicine, estimate that the use of health care IT, such as electronic prescription systems and digitized medical records, could prevent tens of thousands of deaths and more than a million medical mistakes each year, and save billions of dollars in costs related to inefficient and redundant processes and medical complications.
But for most health care organizations, where paper still rules, these changes aren't cheap or easy. Researchers estimate that fewer than a quarter of the nation's hospitals have deployed electronic medical record systems. President Bush has set 2014 as the deadline for the digitization of most Americans' health records.
Fortunately, there are exceptions. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, under CIO Dan Drawbaugh, is among the most aggressive, having deployed e-medical record systems in 18 of its 19 hospitals. In addition, computerized physician order-entry systems and clinical support tools are used in several of UPMC's hospitals, and it plans to extend that technology to most of the others within three years. A service-oriented architecture and Web services are the software underpinnings of it all. Read full article at Information Week