USF's Klasko: Computers can cut medical errors
Medical errors cost U.S. hospitals $6-billion annually in additional care. So says Stephen Klasko, chief executive officer of the University of South Florida Health System in a Bloomberg News story just out on how doctors are being pushed towards more efficient computer recordkeeping. The USF Health System treats 700,000 patients a year in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. (Photo by Ken Helle of the St. Petersburg Times.) According to Bloomberg, pressure from insurers such as Aetna Inc. and WellPoint Inc. and the need to cut hospital costs are speeding the move to digital records.
The health-care industry’s move toward electronic records to reduce costs during the U.S. recession may lessen the need for $50-billion in public financing championed by President-elect Barack Obama, the Bloomberg story says. Obama wants to spur a transition to online medical records to cut expenses and reduce the risk of medical errors, states Glen Tullman, CEO of Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions Inc. and a member of the Obama campaign’s health-care advisory committee.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist