Industry Focus: Healthcare IT

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 08-29-2006

When it comes to medicine, technology always seems to lag behind. Misalignment, mismanagement and other stumbling blocks have made it difficult for healthcare firms to truly realize the benefits technology can bring to the industry. This special industry focus highlights recent advancements in telemedicine, the development of new treatments and, of course, the ongoing push to digitize patient health records.

CASE STUDIES
The War on Healthcare

The U.S. Military is often criticized for overspending on its convoluted bureaucracy. But when it comes to electronic patient records, Uncle Sam may just be the model of healthcare efficiency.

Case Study: Humana Tackles Compliance Early and Often
While most companies still struggle to incorporate regulation into their business models, Humana has been there, done that.

Security: Safe Savings for MedicAlert
New intrusion detection system allows customers to check records online, reducing overhead costs.

Pfizer Uses RFID to Fight Viagra Counterfeiters
No one likes a faker, especially when one's health, money and good time are on the line. That's why Pfizer Inc., manufacturer of Viagra, has begun a pilot RFID tagging program on its popular erectile-dysfunction drug in an effort to prevent counterfeit doses from entering its supply chain in the U.S.

Requirements Management: Kaiser Permanente's Rx for Better Projects
HMO Kaiser Permanente needed tighter alignment between its software developers and its business goals. A new requirements management system proved to be strong but effective medicine.

Remote Docs Use Robots to Treat Patients
High-tech hospitals use robots to let doctors treat intensive-care and emergency patients by remote control from home or other parts of the hospital. What's the opposite of "house call?"

EXPERT VOICES
Expert Voices: Working Together to Improve the Healthcare IT Prognosis at Montefiore
The Bronx's Montefiore Medical Center has worked hard to develop state-of-the-art clinical IT systems. What are they doing right, and what does it mean for the future of healthcare?

Voice of Experience: Dr. Sameer Bade
How the chief medical technology officer of MedStar Health provided mobile health care data for doctors.

ANALYSIS
E-Health Records Get Nudged Forward
A push to get U.S. physicians to use electronic patient health records cleared a milestone this week when a federal commission gave its seal of approval to 20 health record products. But analysts question how fast doctors will move to systems that support the e-health standards.

Stitching Up Health Records: Privacy Compliance Lags
The good news about privacy and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is that more than 80 percent of companies involved in health care have technology and processes in place to provide the level of patient-privacy protection required by the 1996 law. The bad news? All were supposed to have done so by April 2003.

Health IT Innovations Organize People, Not Data
The biggest innovation in health IT of 2006 has nary a wire, a chip or a radio signal. If 2004 was rightly hailed as beginning of the dot.gov boom in health IT, 2005 must be hailed as the year of committees.

Sick Over IT Healthcare
At least part of the reason that IT is not playing a larger role in the healthcare industry is that insurance companies aren't interested in efficiency. The longer they can stretch the payment process, the more profitable they are. And technology would only speed the process.