|The Health Record Review
by Jeff Rowe, Editor
Posted on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 - 10:06 am
“With all the focus on reducing healthcare costs, it may surprise you to learn that of the 30 industries we recently sampled, healthcare organizations actually pay more for technology than any other industry.”
So opens a new report from Net(net), an IT market analysis and strategy firm, and while it looks far beyond the boundaries of EHRs, the report should probably be required reading for any healthcare professional with a connection to their organization’s IT planning and implementation process.
Titled “Top 12 Reasons Why Healthcare Providers Pay WAY TOO MUCH for IT”, the report opens by pointing to a reason that providers are probably not going to want to change: Healthcare Organizations Focus on Patient Care and Safety.
“When it comes to investments in information technology for healthcare,” the report notes, “there is a lot on the line. Produce the wrong information, and a patient may have the wrong leg amputated; dispense the wrong medicine and someone could have an allergic reaction; conduct the wrong procedure and someone dies.”
Given the importance of getting information right, “when technology costs go up, healthcare providers usually just factor increases in technology costs into the total costs of service without much of an awareness of other, less costly methods to achieve the same result.”
In other words, staying focused on patient safety is obviously the right thing to do, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be exploring your options when it comes to new IT.
Similarly, Reason #4, according to the report, is that “Healthcare Organizations Don’t Always Negotiate Diligently”. Noting that healthcare organizations in general have a culture of “trust the experts”, i.e. the doctors, the report observes that “this culture of trusting the experts for a solution extends to IT,” by which the writers mean that too many providers simply bring in outside experts to tell them what they need, then follow their guidance without question.
The remaining reasons focus more on business process, with a poke at government regulation thrown in for good measure. The result is a piece which, at the very least, provides a lens through which healthcare IT executives can look at their own operations.
More on the report, as well as a link to a PDF of the report, can be found here.