The Lifetime Costs And Benefits Of Medical Technology

However, we also believe that these studies should report details of the intervention and the organizational characteristics of where the intervention was implemented so that other organizations can make a judgment about the applicability of the results. Firstly, new technologies must be evaluated as soon as possible and re-evaluated regularly. This country has not yet found a stable funding base for such assessments, but this should be done to provide an adequate information base for policy formulation. Secondly, we need to better align the incentive structure faced by insurers, providers and healthcare consumers with societal goals and resource constraints. Doctors are already committed to improving health through effective health care, and organized medicine has recognized and accepted the challenge of living within budgets. A system based more on global and flexible budgets than on patchy regulation would not be without problems, but it could bring improvements.

The U.S. health care system is at risk due to increased demand, rising costs, inconsistent and poor quality of care, and inefficient and poorly coordinated health care systems. There is evidence that health information technology can improve the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, quality and safety of healthcare by making best practice guidelines and evidence databases immediately available to clinicians and by making automated patient records available in a healthcare network. However, much of the evidence is based Medical Device News Magazine on a small number of systems developed in academic medical centers, and little is known about the organizational changes, cost, and time required for community practices to successfully implement out-of-the-box systems. An unprecedented federal effort is underway to drive the adoption of electronic medical records and drive innovation in health care. We reviewed recent literature on health information technology to determine its effect on outcomes, including quality, efficiency and supplier satisfaction.

Doctors had the ability to respond to alerts and reminders as soon as they appeared, by sending electronic messages for executing orders. The system also allowed suppliers to reject recommendations; and space was included in the EHR to document the reason. Alerts appeared every time a provider logged in, regardless of the patient seen or the reason for accessing the system. This study, which was conducted for 18 months, used a controlled clinical trial design. Coin throws were used to assign practices to the intervention or control condition.

Organizational interventions interact with a wide range of components of the organizational system. To be successful, they need to address these components in a locally effective way. Therefore, in a sense, these interventions are not naturally broadly generalizable, unlike studies of scary interventions such as drugs, which aim to identify the effectiveness of a treatment that is operator-independent or generalizable in all environments or providers. First, randomized controlled trials are not always feasible for assessing organizational changes.

Age-adjusted rates of radiological test use decreased overall by 4 percent after EHR implementation. The authors note that during the same period, the use of the radiology service within the Kaiser system as a whole and also nationally increased. The use of laboratory tests at one site decreased by 18 percent four years after implementation. At the other location, the utilization rate of laboratory tests before the implementation of EHR had increased by 14 percent, but decreased by 3 percent in the two years after implementation included in this study.

Similarly, a clinical decision support device for patients that helps insulin dosing in children with diabetes reduces hypoglycemia episodes and general insulin needs, but does not affect traditional measures of glycemic control. And the use of automated documentation systems with integrated CDSS has been shown, in separate studies, to 1) reduce the frequency or duration of antibiotic use for common pediatric diseases such as pharyngitis and otitis media, and 2) improve integrity and reduce some variation in clinical documentation. Several other sources of evidence were considered, based on the TEP recommendations. Advanced Technologies to Lower Health Care Costs and Improve Quality was published in the fall of 2003 by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative in collaboration with the New England Healthcare Institute. The research was conducted by the First Consulting Group and was sponsored by several Massachusetts companies involved in health care and health insurance.

The report, Costs and Benefits of Health Information Technology, is a synthesis of studies that have examined the impact on the quality of healthcare IT, as well as the costs and organizational changes required to implement healthcare IT systems. This report provides an overview of the scientific data on the implementation of HEALTHCARE IT to date, as documented in studies published up to 2003. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released a report today recognizing that while health information technology has been shown to improve the quality of care for patients, most healthcare providers need more information on how to successfully implement these technologies. AHRQ is helping to close this gap with findings from more than 100 projects across the country. Patients also benefit from mobile technology in healthcare because they have more access to their medical information. Many healthcare systems have portals that patients can access to view details about their diagnoses, prescription drugs, and future appointments.

Recent technological advances have dramatically changed the way healthcare providers manage data and provide services. For this reason, both novice and experienced nurses are constantly learning new technologies, while nursing schools are developing innovative curricula that serve the new care environment. The most notable changes have occurred in the area of health information technology, where providers use powerful software and hardware to manage patient records. By combining HIT with electronic health records and administrative data, organizations perform more efficiently. IT professionals use HIT to maximize the usefulness of EHRs for storing, analyzing, and making critical decisions using real-time patient data. The following benefits represent the latest operational improvements made through health information technology.

Existing physician reimbursement systems have important implications for the cost-effective adoption of new technologies. Because they are paid for services provided, pay-per-service physicians have incentives to use new technologies that go beyond the point where marginal cost equals marginal benefits. In addition, current fee levels have an inherent preference for procedure-based services. Numerous studies have shown that the fee is disproportionately higher for technology-driven services than for more cognitive services, such as clinical assessment and management. With regard to resource costs, assessment and management services are compensated at a lower rate than invasive, imaging and laboratory services. Studies have shown that services performed on outpatients are compensated for significantly lower rates than when performed in inpatients.

While the adoption of a new medical technology results in an immediate increase in medical costs, that’s only part of the story. What improvements in longevity or quality of life result from the use of new technology, and how do we place a monetary value on these benefits? While this question is clearly difficult, answering it is necessary to determine if the new technology is worth its cost. And how will the use of new technology today affect medical expenses in the coming years? In theory, new technology can increase future spending by prolonging or reducing patients’ lives by making patients healthier.