We talk plenty about what technology can do for commerce, but much less about what it can do to make peoples lives better. It’s a topic that will be centre of attention at the Technology4Good BarCamp I’ll be running in November. McKinsey ran a fascinating story about how hospitals are being reformed with IT investment, in particular electronic health records, a topic I’ve written about over at GigaOm
New regulations that require US health care providers to use electronic health records (EHR) and adhere to strict data-coding standards will force hospitals to spend billions of dollars over the next decade to upgrade their IT systems. The spending requirements risk squeezing hospital capital budgets already under strain from steadily rising costs. With government incentives covering only a small portion of the total, providers will be forced to recover quickly their investment dollars from operating changes.
Our research shows that automating and standardizing health care information can bring benefits that extend beyond meeting demands for compliance. A provider that creates a best-practice IT platform to house and share medical records, to manage hospital resources more transparently, and to define precise guidelines for medically authorized tests and procedures can generate significant operating efficiencies. Such a platform minimizes paperwork, reduces the number of unnecessary treatments, and lowers the risk of drug and medical error.
Read the entire McKinsey post here.