EHRs top ECRI's 'must-watch' technology list for hospital execs

Electronic health records and CT radiation reduction technologies are among the top 10 technologies and technology-related issues that hospital executives need to follow in 2012, according to a new report from nonprofit healthcare research group the ECRI Institute.

Regarding EHRs, the report's authors point to Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements as the primary reason the technology ranks No. 1 on the list. Stage 2, the authors write, impacts both the IT infrastructure of a facility, as well as its plan to integrate medical devices into the EHR. Such demands require clinical engineering and IT employees to work closely together, a challenging task considering the burdens already placed on both parties with the transitions to 5010 and ICD-10.

CT radiation reduction technologies rank No. 4 on the list due to cost and availability issues, as well as the "effect on image-processing time." Clearly there is an emphasis to reduce unnecessary radiation exposure for patients, but finding solutions to meet that need is hardly cheap or easy. What's more, dose monitoring and measure is a vital, yet time-consuming task that needs to remain at the heart of improving such technologies.

Other intriguing technologies mentioned by ECRI include:

  • Surgery robots
  • Cardiac stents
  • Ultrahigh-field strength MRI systems

The list complements ECRI's list of top technology hazards, which was published in November. Overexposure to radiation therapy and CT was the No. 2 hazard on that list, behind alarm hazards.

To learn more:
- read ECRI's announcement
- download the report (reg. required)

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