Enhance efficiencies through shared emergency room data

October 1, 2005

The high cost of emergency department (ED) care is a concern for commercial and government insurers, hospitals, physicians and patients. Two-thirds of EDs operate at full capacity or over capacity, a situation exacerbated by increased ED visits from both insured and uninsured patients. Software applications that automate the ED can help improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. Payer organizations should be aware of four key adoption trends in ED automation.

The high cost of emergency department (ED) care is a concern for commercial and government insurers, hospitals, physicians and patients. Two-thirds of EDs operate at full capacity or over capacity, a situation exacerbated by increased ED visits from both insured and uninsured patients. Software applications that automate the ED can help improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. Payer organizations should be aware of four key adoption trends in ED automation.

Most ED physicians and nurses still prefer the niche vendors' documentation templates and clinical workflow. Niche products can interface to an enterprise CPR but most still generate separate patient records. CPR vendors whose ED applications share a common system architecture and common database with the CPR can provide true integration capability. For payer organizations, monitor a care delivery organization's commitment to ED technology investment and its strategic plan for an enterprise-wide patient record.

Barbara Kelly is research director with Gartner's Healthcare Industry Research & Advisory Services.

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