Economist Considers Factors Contributing to Health Care Information Technology Adoption
With threats of bioterrorism looming, increased consumer pressure and a shortage of health care professionals, the health care industry is looking for solutions in information technology applications, the Economist reports. Competition for funds and high worker turnover rates are among the factors that complicate hospitals' integration of new technologies, the Economist reports. However, large health care purchasers such as Xerox, IBM and PepsiCo, are offering incentives to hospitals that adopt IT applications such as computerized physician order entry, which can reduce medical errors. In one example of hospital IT use, clinicians at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center are accessing electronic medical records and CPOE from thousands of computers throughout the hospital, as well as at an outpatient center and at eight satellite clinics. According to the Gartner Group, a consulting firm, most hospitals spent less than 3% of their gross revenue on IT last year; however, Gartner predicts that hospitals' IT budgets will increase by 10% to 15% annually from 2003 to 2005 (Economist, 5/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.