Our challenge in using information technologies

“Experts estimate that as many as 98,000 people die in any given year from medical errors that occur in hospitals. That’s more than die from motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS–three causes that receive far more public attention. Indeed, more people die annually from medication errors than from workplace injuries. Add the financial cost to the human tragedy, and medical error easily rises to the top ranks of urgent, widespread public problems”.

Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Quality of Health Care in America. To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Kohn LT, Corrigan JM, Donaldson MS, editors. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2000. PMID: 25077248.

On November 29, 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report called To Err is Human.

I joined Autros Healthcare Solutions, a talented visionaries team that focused on tackling medication errors in hospitals. We developed a wireless medication dispensing and point of care medication verification solution that validated the five rights of a patient.

    1. Right patient
    2. Right medication
    3. Right dose
    4. Right time
    5. Right route of administration

It is hard to imagine that hospitals did not have wireless technologies, and we were required to perform a site assessment and install wireless access points to implement our solution. I remember that I received a call from a nurse complaining that our system does not let her administer a medication to a patient. When we investigated, we found out that the physician had changed the patient’s order and that medication was no longer appropriate for the patient.

Although we have come a long way since then and information technologies in healthcare have advanced, we face system management and execution issues.

I recently had an appointment in a hospital with a surgeon, and when he tried to look at my MRI, which was done at the same hospital, he could not find the information.

Continuous monitoring and assessment of technology solutions and their integration is a critical factor that does not receive proper investment to achieve the optimized outcome.

To Err Is Human asserted that the problem is not about evil people in health care. Decent people are working in inadequate systems that need to be made safer.

Please contact us if you are interested in learning about our services.

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