Website spotlight: Is your health IT working against you?

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, July 19, 2012

Many hospitals across the nation are already working with health IT, including electronic health records (EHR) and bar code scanning­-especially as CMS' Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs (commonly referred to as "meaningful use") promise to provide incentive payments to eligible hospitals as they adopt, implement, upgrade, or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

Though many hospitals are currently at various stages of their implementation, with many balancing a hybrid of paper and electronic documentation, the ultimate goal of health IT is to automate and integrate data and work flow processes to capture patient information all in one place, in real time, with the ability to automatically collect quality measures data.

Many healthcare professionals are putting their faith into an electronic interface that will provide safer and better-quality care by alerting them if they attempt to administer the wrong medication; providing a complete record of scans and tests to avoid duplicate, unnecessary, and potentially harmful testing; and matching up the correct patient and medication through scanning.

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