6 Ways IT Is Contributing to Health Care Inefficiencies

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Counterintuitive Workflow

Hospital EHRs impose an unfamiliar workflow on physicians, dictated not by what the physician knows about treating patients (and has been doing for years), but rather by the processes that exist deep inside the hospital. If technology was designed with more input from physicians, providers' workflows would be more intuitive, more personalized, and would more easily fit into their specific work style. Tailoring the user experience would allow providers to review their patient lists and charts in the most convenient way.

No industry has ever computerized its operations with the goal of reducing productivity and efficiency; that would be absurd. Yet we see countless articles and complaints from health care professionals about the fact that certain systems, especially electronic health records (EHRs), have made physicians less productive, less efficient, and potentially less effective. If computers performed similarly for knowledge workers in other industries, they'd still use paper.

While an EHR is supposed to "automate and streamline the clinician's workflow," most systems are not living up to the promise. Counterintuitive workflow, extensive training and alert fatigue are just a few of the hurdles care providers must jump over when going about their daily tasks. These challenges among many others can hinder patients from receiving the best possible care.  

In this slideshow, PatientKeeper, a leading provider of health care applications for physicians, shares six reasons why IT is contributing to health care inefficiencies and what can be done to rectify the problems.


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