Two speakers kicked off the 48th annual meeting of the Health Information and Management Systems Society meeting in Atlanta by noting how healthcare is several decades behind other industiries in its use of information technology and that the time is right for this to change.
IT's potential for improving healthcare noted
Both Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint Nextel Corp., and HIMSS Chairman Barry Chaiken noted how health IT has the potential to improve healthcare and, in the process, lower its cost by doing a better job of managing the care of patients' chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension thereby making costly procedures unnecessary.
Hesse spoke of the opportunities for telemedicine and remote patient monitoring, and told how in the near future patients could swallow pill-sized devices that will allow physicians to know how well medications are working within a patient's body.
Both also noted the rapid advances and consumer acceptance of smart-phone technology, and Chaiken used it as an example of the path electronic health record developers must follow.
Similar to Richard Buckmininster Fuller's argument that you don't create change by fighting the existing model, you do it by creating a new model that makes the old way obsolete, Chaiken urged health IT professions to create demand by developing products physicians want to use. “You must drive this transformation,” Chaiken concluded. “You can't rely on incentives or executive orders.”
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