||- As never
before in the healthcare has the demand for cost management been greater. National
healthcare expenditures are increasing steadily. In fact, in the last few years of the
1990s, healthcare inflation exceeded the general inflation rate in the United States. In
the next 5 years, US healthcare costs will jump an estimated 38%, to nearly $1.7 trillion.
Prescription drug costs, which account for 11% to 14% of total medical expenses, are
increasing simultaneously at more than 16% annually.
In this cost-sensitive
environment, the ideal role of IT is to manage costs while increasing quality, service,
and operating performance. They can be powerful tools for managing and structuring data.
For example, introducing a computerized pharmacy ordering system allowed Boston's Brigham
and Women's Hospital to cut transcription errors by 84% and save more than $2.5 million
per year in adverse drug reactions.