MEDICAL ERRORS: High-Tech Companies Offer Solutions
To reduce the number of medical errors, some high-tech companies are pushing their services for hospitals, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Although none of the systems are foolproof, a 1998 study conducted by Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston found that its computer-entry system for prescription orders reduced errors by more than half. As more government agencies and private insurers are expected to require that hospitals install some of these new technologies, many new companies are entering the competitive market. Datavision-Prologix, best known for its bar-coding system for warehouse inventories, is hoping that more hospitals will incorporate their system to ensure that patients receive the correct prescriptions. Already, the system -- which uses a hand held device similar to a Palm Pilot to scan records -- is being installed in 172 veterans' medical centers nationwide. Shared Medical Systems also is promoting its automated medication software. With the software, hospital departments can be linked to a variety of hardware, like bedside computers and Palm Pilot devices to track patients' prescriptions (Gerlin, 4/16).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.