With a national shortage in intensivists looming, this Chicago hospital system turned to technology to improve its ICU mortality rates. Resurrection Health Care wasn’t looking for an information system when it launched its mission to build a better ICU. But that’s what it ended up with—and then some. After forming a task force to explore new safety approaches and ways to improve quality of critical care, the eight-hospital system in the Chicago area implemented the eICU program from Visicu, a Philips Healthcare company.

Read more: Hub and Spoke

Without an integrated communications plan overseeing your Web site, you aren’t making the most of your site. Here’s how to extend continuous improvement efforts from the real world into cyberspace. Of all the questions any manager must ask when it comes to Web sites, perhaps none is more important than one simple word—why. Why bother having a Web site in the first place? What purpose will it serve? Just as simple is the answer—in modern healthcare, Web sites are seen as a differentiating factor in the overall quality of an organization. 

Read more: Web Matters

The economic stimulus package is boosting interest in RHIOs, but long-term sustainability remains an elusive goal. In the sea of acronyms that is the healthcare field, Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) represent the next wave of information exchange among physicians, hospitals, laboratories, insurance companies, and other entities that need to have access to patient data.

Read more: The Next Wave

The adoption of electronic health record (EHR) technology has been frustratingly slow, and the reasons for the slow pace aren’t insignificant. Cost is obvious, but resistance to change and examples of EHR failure are factors keeping physicians and hospitals on the sidelines. Federal stimulus dollars will help spur some groups into action, but the key to widespread adoption is the relationship between EHRs and quality care.  

Read more: On the Record

Is your hospital or physician practice paying too much for the supplies you need to make patients well and operate efficiently? While technology has infiltrated exam rooms, operating theaters, and back-office operations, much of purchasing remains in the pencil-and-paper world. Stacks of documentation represent current contracts, but many questions remain about whether everyone knows the current contracted price of that implant or that case of copy paper.

Read more: Paper-free Purchasing

A one-button talk system and multi-purpose bedside carts have changed the way nurses care for patients at this St. Louis-area hospital. What does a hospital look like when management and IT work hand in hand on process improvement? It probably looks a lot like Progress West HealthCare Center.More specifically, nurses can easily communicate with patients, other nurses, and hospitalists; clinicians spend more time at the bedside; pharmacists are an integral part of the patient care team; and unit secretaries are unnecessary.

Read more: Common Vision

We go to the experts for advice on preventing patient data breaches and complying with Red Flag rules.The only certainty about preventing the data breaches that may lead to medical identity theft is it is virtually impossible. What’s not certain is how damaging the breach will be and how your organization will handle the fallout.

Read more: Locking Down Data

Technology advancements have made patient monitors indispensable to healthcare providers, to the point where the thought of removing patient monitors from critical care units, ORs, EDs, and other settings is laughable. But what isn’t funny is the unacceptably high percentage of false alerts triggered by patient monitors. Studies have shown that more than 85% of alarms generated by monitors are false or clinically irrelevant. 

Read more: Crying Wolf

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