Once a potential IT solution is identified, however, significant challenges must often be overcome to make the dream into a reality. Ensuring patient privacy while sharing information from hospital to hospital, or state to state, is one such concern, and prohibitive cost barriers can appear at every turn.
"Implementing the ideal solution is often easier said than done," notes Cavanagh. "There can be technology roadblocks, or new standards that must be adopted before a change can take place. In addition, the medical center's IT system needs have to be prioritized along with the latest medical technology, such as a new imaging system or other upgrades to the physical plant.
"There's a long list of things to support in a medical center, and they're all competing to achieve priority status. Since funding is always a challenge, we always have to be sure an investment is benefiting where the system is going. The technologies that will have the biggest impact on quality healthcare and patient safety are the ones that resources will be dedicated to first."
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