Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal Examines Barriers to Information Technology in Health Care
Although information technology can improve care for patients and "create efficiencies" for providers, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports that cost often serves a "barrier" for health care organizations to install and implement IT systems. According to a survey conducted by the California HealthCare Foundation, 85% of the 365 medical groups and 60 clinics in California interviewed said that "IT systems are too expensive," and more than 25% said that "there is a lack of reliable software products that meet their needs." The Business Journal reports that many physicians with private practices do not have the "capital or ability to hire IT experts to install and maintain" IT systems. CHCF has commissioned a health economist and an electronic medical records expert to conduct a survey, scheduled for release later this year, to determine the "usage or potential usage" of such systems in smaller physician practices.
Meanwhile, the Business Journal reports that the not-for-profit Camino Medical Group has adopted a strategy to "achieve its IT goals at a fraction" of the estimated cost. Software companies estimated that installation of an electronic medical records system at Camino would cost about $10 million, a price that the medical group could not afford. The medical group instead hired a staff to develop and install an electronic medical records system at a cost of $500,000, although the implementation of the system, which requires training sessions for physicians, "has been slow." Currently, only 30% of the doctors at Camino use the system, the Business Journal reports (May, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 6/21).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.