Lowering IT Costs Will Help the Entire U.S. Healthcare System
Meta Healthcare IT Solutions, a supplier of comprehensive medication safety information systems for the health care industry, announced its challenge to all health care IT vendors to reduce the costs of the systems they offer. The company's management believes this move will have two immediate effects: First, it will more than likely facilitate the adoption of IT systems by health care providers, and second, it will help cash-strapped hospitals lower their operating costs.
In the present economic climate, many health care providers are delaying the installations of systems they know can improve their operational efficiencies and, in many cases, improve patient safety. It all comes down to affordability, and significantly reducing IT systems costs will most likely make them more financially appealing.
"The federal government's health care stimulus package is aimed at increasing the use of information technology to lower costs and improve the delivery of patient care. What better way to boost the effectiveness of this program than for IT vendors to simultaneously reduce the costs of their systems?" said Sal Barcia, CEO of Meta.
"For example, we implement our bar-code medication administration system, MetaCare eMAR, at less than half the cost of competing bids. Our customers have been able to purchase multiple medication safety software products at a cost that is less than a single product from some of our competitors. These customers have found our products, even delivered at a lower overall cost, to be better functionally, with a level of support they never receive from other vendors."
"Recent studies have shown that having full bar-code compliance — scanning both the patient's ID bar code and the medication bar code at time of administration — results in less than one-tenth of one percent of patients experiencing a medication error that leads to serious consequences," remarked Robert Rosenberg, vice president of sales and marketing for Meta.
"Our Web-based point-of-care medication administration system helps eliminate errors via 'five rights' checking through the use of bar-code technology. One of our clients, Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC), located in Portsmouth, Ohio, has achieved 98.61 percent bar-code compliance in its medication administration enterprise-wide, with its pediatric department experiencing almost 100 percent compliance."
"Having reached the 90 percent compliance mark with bar coding is like being in the red zone in football," commented Mark Neuenschwander, president of the Terra Group and one of the world's leading experts in the field of drug dispensing automation and bar-code point-of-care systems. "Closing in on the 100 percent goal line gets harder by the inch. Those who achieve high 90s are exceptional."
Added Rosenberg, "Our achievement of nearly 100 percent bar-code compliance is a giant step forward in patient safety; this type of technology needs to be installed now, either from us or some other vendor. These vendors could recoup some of the reverses of these cost reductions by lowering their operating costs. This can be done, not by downsizing staff, but by reducing their client entertainment budgets and significantly cutting back on the size of their trade show booths, many of which have more square footage than most American homes."