Harvard study says computers don’t save hospitals money

Hospital computer systems are often built for administrators, not doctors

Computerworld – A Harvard Medical School study that looked at some of the nation’s “most wired” hospital facilities found that computerization of those facilities hasn’t saved them any money or improved administrative efficiency.

The recently released study evaluated data on 4,000 hospitals in the U.S over a four-year period and found that the immense cost of installing and running hospital IT systems is greater than any expected cost savings. And much of the software being written for use in clinics is aimed at administrators, not doctors, nurses and lab workers.  Continue reading

USA Hospitals Extremely Slow to Adopt Electronic Health Records, Citing Cost

Money Targeted for Health Technology In Stimulus Package May Help, but Widespread Adoption a Long Way Away

Harvard School of Public Health – Boston, MA – There is broad consensus that electronic health records (EHR) have the potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare providers. Yet, to date, there has been no reliable estimate of the prevalence of EHR use among U.S. hospitals. In a new study, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Massachusetts General Hospital and George Washington University found that less than 2% of surveyed hospitals had implemented comprehensive EHR; further, less than 8% had basic EHR in place. It is the first nationally representative study of the prevalence of EHR in hospitals.

The findings are significant as Congress and the Obama administration targeted $19 billion in the federal stimulus package for improving adoption of health information technology such as electronic health records. Many policy makers hope that the money will help doctors and hospitals adopt electronic records, which should help improve the quality and efficiency of the healthcare system. For the full story see Harvard School of Public Health

Health Canada Protecting Personal Privacy: A First Principle for Canadian Health Infostructure

By Andrew J. Siman, Director General Office of Health and the Information Highway, Health Canada

For Health Canada, protecting personal privacy should lie at the heart of efforts to build a national health infostructure composed of health information systems across Canada.

This position derives, not just from a pragmatic realization that responding to privacy concerns is critical to the success of a health information system, but also from the belief that respect for privacy is a fundamental value in Canadian society and central to the provision of health care. Continue reading