Adopting New Healthcare IT Could Cut $3.6 Trillion in Waste

2010-08-02
 

Studies are in that the U.S. Healthcare industry is falling victim to a number of ‘operational inefficiencies’ that are causing massive amounts of financial waste each year.  A previous report concluded that the Healthcare system in this country wastes almost $700 billion a year.  Thankfully, there is a plan to turn this around and doing so could save $3.6 trillion in waste over the next decade.

The 5 strategies created to help reach this astronomical goal all revolve around revolutionizing practices that might be currently out of date or inefficient.  In a lot of the strategies, the need for updated healthcare IT and modern medical imaging devices like PACS and CVIS could step into modernize care and boost efficiency.  Here, briefly, are the 5 strategies:

  1. Engage Customers – Bring the public into discussions with caregivers regarding the value and risk of treatment options.  Doing this could reduce the money spent for unnecessary treatments.
  2. Coordinate Care – Lack of access to medical records leads to duplicate tests and inappropriate treatments that can cost up to $50 billion every year.  By using digital medical records, digital images from PACS and CVIS and updated and networked healthcare IT, this could be avoided.
  3. Manage Disease and Maintain Wellness – Disease Prevention and early detection can save billions of dollars in healthcare costs.  The more educated and involved people and patients are, the less treatment they will need.
  4. Design for Patient Safety & Quality – The report showed that preventable medical errors cost from $50 to $100 billion a year in spending. By using those digital medical records, a checklist could be used to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.
  5. Reduce Opportunities for Fraud – Fraud is estimated at costing between 5 and 10% of healthcare spending each year.  By using computerized systems that can track data, anomalies can be detected to indicate possible fraud breaches.

The bottom line: the U.S. Healthcare industry still has many inefficiencies and outdated methods of achieving results.  If these can be taken into the 21st century with modern medical imaging devices like PACS and CVIS as well as digital medical records, the quality of patient care can increase while the spending decreases.

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