To broadly examine the potential health and financial benefits of health information technology (HIT), this paper compares health care with the use of IT in other industries. It estimates potential savings and costs of widespread adoption of electronic medical record (EMR) systems, models important health and safety benefits, and concludes that effective EMR implementation and networking could eventually save more than $81 billion annually—by improving health care efficiency and safety—and that HIT-enabled prevention and management of chronic disease could eventually double those savings while increasing health and other social benefits (Amatayacul 2000). However, this is unlikely to be realized without related changes to the health care system.
Body: Discussion and Analysis
Paper-based records have been in existence for centuries* and their gradual replacement by computer-based records has been slowly underway for over twenty years in western healthcare systems. Computerised information systems have not achieved the same degree of penetration in healthcare as that seen in other sectors such as finance, transport and the manufacturing and retail industries. Further, deployment has varied greatly from country to country and from speciality to specialty and in may cases has revolved around local systems designed for local use. National penetration of EMRs may have reached over 90% in primary care practices in Norway, Sweden and Denmark (2003), but has been limited to 17% of physician office practices in the USA (2001-2003) [HHS, 2005]. Those EMR systems that have been implemented however have been used mainly for administrative rather than clinical purposes (van 2003).
In order to efficiently operate the suite of MD Logic software solutions it is critical to implement the hardware technology required to maximize the speed and performance of the MD Logic World Wide EMR software. Below are our minimum specifications and recommendations for hardware required to operate the MD Logic software. These specifications are intended as a guide to help educate healthcare providers interested in implementing MD Logic solutions.
Electronic medical record systems lie at the center of any computerised health information system. Without them other modern technologies such as decision support systems cannot be effectively integrated into routine clinical workflow. The paperless, interoperable, multi-provider, multi-specialty, multi-discipline computerised medical record, which has been a goal for many researchers, healthcare professionals, administrators and politicians for the past 20+ years, is however about to become reality in many western countries.
As Tony Abott (Australian Minister for Heath and Ageing) said in August 2005: "Better use of IT is no panacea, but there's scarcely a problem in the health system it can't improve". For the first time, the responses have been national and co-ordinated (van 2001). Governments in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, New Zealand, the UK, the USA and other countries have announced - and are implementing - plans to build integrated computer-based national healthcare infrastructures based around the deployment of interoperable electronic medical record systems. And many of these countries aim to have EMR systems deployed for their populations within the next 10 ...