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6 Ways IT Is Contributing to Health Care Inefficiencies

  • 6 Ways IT Is Contributing to Health Care Inefficiencies-

    Alert Fatigue

    Many alerts issued by computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems are unnecessary or irrelevant, and fail to take into account the physician's specialty, knowledge and patient situation. As a result, physicians no longer pay attention to them. This can lead to relevant, perhaps critical, alerts being missed, putting patients at risk and defeating one of the main purposes of CPOE. By streamlining alerts and tailoring them to each physician, hospitals will more consistently put CPOE technology to its intended use and support patient safety goals.

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6 Ways IT Is Contributing to Health Care Inefficiencies

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  • 6 Ways IT Is Contributing to Health Care Inefficiencies-5

    Alert Fatigue

    Many alerts issued by computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems are unnecessary or irrelevant, and fail to take into account the physician's specialty, knowledge and patient situation. As a result, physicians no longer pay attention to them. This can lead to relevant, perhaps critical, alerts being missed, putting patients at risk and defeating one of the main purposes of CPOE. By streamlining alerts and tailoring them to each physician, hospitals will more consistently put CPOE technology to its intended use and support patient safety goals.

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.