Friday, May 06, 2005

IT in the Health-Care Industry

Good article trying to figure out why the health care industry uses so little IT with all sorts of interesting stats and figures.

According to David Bates, the head of general medicine at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and an expert on the use of IT in health care, the industry invests only about 2% of its revenues in IT, compared with 10% for other information-intensive industries.

According to the Institute of Medicine, a non-governmental organisation in Washington, DC, preventable medical errors—from unplanned drug interactions, say—kill between 44,000 and 98,000 people each year in America alone. This makes medical snafus the eighth leading cause of death, ahead of car accidents, breast cancer and AIDS.

HP's Mr Miller reckons that redundancy and inefficiency account for between 25% and 40% of the $3.3 trillion the world spends on health care every year, and could be eliminated with proper IT. A study from a clinical research centre at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire reaches a similar conclusion, estimating that a third of America's $1.6 trillion in annual health-care spending (as of 2003) goes to procedures that duplicate one another or are inappropriate.
If my math is correct, the US has $1.6/$3.3= 48% of the world's health expenditures with just 5% of the world's population. That's mind blowing.
Also in February, a statistician of the health department in Palm Beach County, Florida, inadvertently e-mailed a list of more than 6,000 HIV carriers to all employees of the department.
Doh! Damn Reply vs. Reply All.


1 comment:

Blue Cross of California said...

I think IT can be a great help in the health care industry as we are in major crisis and need improvement for future.

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