This is a pretty interesting article about U Mich. project to build a hospital information system that puts together a whole chain of information. Sounds like it would do a lot of good. But, actually, the in-hospital information is only part of the information that could be linked together potentially. If this information also linked to clinical research and epidemiology databases you’d have some awesome tools to study disease on a population basis.
CHICAGO — Like a chain with many fragile links, the care of every hospital patient in America is made up of dozens, even hundreds, of daily interactions and handoffs between the doctors, nurses, therapists, residents and medical students who care for them. The chain extends out of the hospital, too, into the offices of a patient’s primary and specialty care doctors, their pharmacy, their insurance company, and beyond.
And every link, or handoff, takes time, costs money, and poses a risk of problems with information transfer. One weak link can jeopardize a patient’s health and safety.
But new research results show that a unique computer system developed and implemented at the University of Michigan Health System can strengthen the entire chain.
The system, in turn, reduces risks while saving time and money, and improves the quality and continuity of patient care, and patients’ education and satisfaction.
The secure, Web-based system creates a virtual workspace for all members of a patient’s in-hospital health care team, and gives information automatically, quickly and accurately to those who will care for the patient when he or she goes home.