Articles, PSQH May 27, 2010

Health IT’s Glue

by Barry P Chaiken, MD

In my last column “Raison d’Être” I wrote about the importance of staying focused on making healthcare IT work to achieve the four important goals noted above: patient safety, quality care, access to care, and cost savings. In March, I addressed the HIMSS membership with these words:

Healthcare information technology is the instrument that will transform healthcare, and it is we—the informaticists, clinicians, management engineers, senior IT executives, IT specialists, and the diverse talents of so many others—who will create the applications, processes and workflows that will improve quality, safety, access and cost-efficiency.

In addition to our effort to transform care delivery through deployment of innovative software, revised processes, and creative workflows, niche applications are becoming available that allow the varied health IT tools to be sewn together to allow us to effectively tap into their potential. Without these applications we could not achieve the necessary integration of systems that permits the construction of meaningful, efficient workflows. Such workflows allow clinicians to deliver quality care safely and efficiently while satisfying the work requirements of caregivers.

The future of health IT over the next five years is in the development of these “glue” applications that allow the seamless linking of large, robust system, such as EMRs or laboratory applications, so that end users can utilize these tools in a coherent, patient-centric manner.

Excerpts from: Health IT’s Glue. PSQH, March/April, 2010


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