HOSPITALISTS: New Technology Improves Care
IPC-The Hospitalist Co. has won this year's Innovation in Healthcare Information Technology Award in the patient-care category for its new hand-held personal computer product, Modern Healthcare reports. Called IPC Link, the tiny computers allow hospitalists to "enter a patient's personal and medical information, including name, insurance company, primary-care physician, diagnosis, prescriptions, progress notes and specialist use." The data can then be sent via modem to a communication server at IPC's home office in North Hollywood, where the information is "uploaded two or three times a day by an Oracle service, which formats and faxes reports to the hospitalists, primary care physicians and other specialists." Adam Singer, president and CEO of IPC said, "The No. 1 problem of being a hospitalist is communication. Primary care physicians need to be communicated with. ... Hospitalists also need to deal with pharmaceutical, home health, insurance and durable-medical- equipment companies." IPC says its product has helped to lower hospital readmission rates for its patients. According to Singer, during an 18-month period IPC "documented 10-day hospital readmission rates of 1.6%, 70% less than the national rate of 6.8% because of transition management." He said, "The technology allows me to monitor and improve the performance of hospitalists in the company" (Katzman, 2/1 issue).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.