The field of biomedical is full of acronyms — CPOE, HIE, EMR, HL7 — that may be interesting to IT professionals, but merely connote longer days, multiple logins and frustration for clinicians. While people in “healthcare” love it concept of CPOE, physicians feel it slows them down, converting them from docs into secretaries.
I recently gave a ground rounds to our large children’s hospital to explain how biomedical informatics is evolving. There is a plan in my mind of how CPOE, HIE, etc., can come together, leveraging bar code medication administration and actionable alerts, to prevent beside safety issues and improve care. What will also emerge is quality reporting which can provide data for large-scale research.
Many researchers have staff that does nothing but comb paper charts for a few data points which takes forever and is expensive. With proper design, we can make the researchers happy, the quality people happy and ultimately build a better hospital system.
In the near future, hospitals will compete based on successful implementation of not only clinical systems, but enterprise data warehouses, which will require extensive planning into user interfaces, and keeping order sets up to date. Although the HITECH legislation has made biomedical informatics a sprint, I would really treat it as a marathon — sacrificing future capabilities to get a quick ROI may result in CIOs winning the battle, but losing the overall war.
Medicine is an information science, and improvement is not about how fast electrons transverse a CPU, but getting the right information to the right people in a format that is usable. I hope you enjoy this grand rounds presentation. My department loved it.