Guest post by Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, leader of the hospital performance improvement practice at Berkeley Research Group.
Four healthcare reform elements are driving hospital systems to recreate themselves through buying physician groups, attempting to dramatically improve the quality and costs of care, and merging with other hospital systems. These are 1) the new Medicare readmissions payment policy, 2) the Medicare and Medicaid payment bundling pilots, 3) Medicare’s decision to stop paying for hospital acquired conditions, and 4) the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
A fascinating recent report from the HealthLeaders about the supposed scads of errors being associated with HIT, as health systems transition to the age of electronic records. According to the report that features the results of a recent study by ECRI Institute’s Patient Safety Organization, some of the errors “are causing harm and in so many serious ways, providers are only now beginning to understand the scope.”
For example, during the 2012 study at 36 participating hospitals, computer programs truncated dosage fields leading to morphine-caused respiratory arrest; lab test and transplant surgery records sometimes didn’t talk to each other, leading to organ rejection and patient death; and an electronic systems’ misinterpretation of the time “midnight” meant an infant received antibiotics one dangerous day too late.