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A New World Map

March 28, 2010
by root
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As changes in technology and operations sweep healthcare, more areas are falling under the aegis of the chief information officer - from medical records to biomedical engineering to facility planning and new construction - and many are finding their responsibility zone widening. For some senior executives whose CIO title emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the shift may feel a little like déjà vu. Read our cover story, “Expanding Universes,” page 12, to see how CIOs are managing the governance, strategy, and management issues that this role expansion is bringing.

Long wait times in emergency departments (EDs) are plaguing many hospitals. And as more patients bypass physician offices and seek treatment in the ED, the problem is worsening. Smart hospital executives are realizing that if wait times are too long, frustrated patients are bound to walk out the door and take their revenue with them. Though bed management systems and fast-track triage programs can improve turnover and increase efficiency, patients are still often left in the dark as to when the doctor will see them. With that in mind, a handful of organizations are going one step further and are devising innovative methods of communicating wait times to patients - in some cases even before they arrive at the hospital. Read “Wait Watchers,” page 30 to see what technologies are being leveraged in this space.

For years, industry experts have been predicting significant growth in the healthcare sector of the RFID market, but a number of hospitals seem to have put that technology on the backburner. In “Right on Track,” page 35, we focus our lens on where the trend is heading in terms of tracking technologies, what hospital leaders are looking to accomplish by implementing RFID systems, and what we can expect to see in the near future.

Healthcare Informatics 2010 April;27(4):10