Academic health centers should make information technology a priority for clinical work as well as for education and research, according to a report released today by the Institute of Medicine.
The new report, "Academic Health Centers: Leading Change in the 21st Century," covers a wide range of issues at AHCs, including use of federal funding for residency training.
It says Medicare indirect medical education payments to teaching hospitals should support more team-based, nonhospital training and that some of the money should be redirected to an education innovation fund.
The report also says AHCs should increase their emphasis on research into clinical work, health services and prevention so that "the discoveries of basic research translate into benefits for more people."
"Technological, demographic, social, and economic trends will have a significant impact on the roles performed by AHCs," the report says.
The report adds that information technology will be "central to the ability of AHCs to perform their roles in the future."
"AHCs must make innovation in and implementation of information technology a priority for both managing the enterprise and conducting their integrated teaching, research, and clinical activities," the report says. "AHCs should have information systems that span the enterprise for integrated decision making, performance assessment, and financial management."