Aug. 18, 2011
Health Care Technology to Reduce Costs and Improve Care
Advances in health information technology (HIT) and telecommunications are having an impact on the world of health care. For patients, the result is greatly improved access to medical care, especially for those in rural areas. New, high-speed/high-tech health care solutions offer the promise of a better quality of life for patients who can more easily manage their medical needs.
State legislatures can play an important role in promoting these emerging technologies. Legislators and legislative staff attending the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Legislative Summit in San Antonio last week experienced first-hand how this type of technology is benefiting patients in Texas.
Policymakers visited University Hospital in San Antonio to see first-hand how technology is transforming and improving health care. University Hospital currently uses Elsevier’s CPM Resource Center’s CPM Framework™ and Models, which are embedded within the hospital’s HIT clinical information system. These clinical practice guidelines are used to reduce the amount of time a patient spends in the hospital and to cut overall costs in the health care system. The CPM system, which was the brainchild of a nurse, is a compilation of “best practices” and is now used by more than 300 hospitals across the United States and Canada.
“It was eye opening to see how this practice model is implemented,” said Representative David Clark of Utah. “I hope practices similar to these will continue to develop within our hospitals to help reduce costs and improve patient care.”
The trip to University Hospital was part of NCSL Transforming Health Care Through Technology project, where legislators, legislative staff and Foundation for State Legislatures Partners learn about and identify the policy issues and options associated with technological advances in the world of health care.
For more information on the project, log onto NCSL’s website.
NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.