No easy quality management answers

Wouldn't it be nice if a technology vendor or consultant could offer you a single, all-in-one package which solved your toughest quality management problems? Well, it's nice to think about--but it's not going to show up at HiMSS. After all, while the industry's starting to achieve some agreement on issues like avoiding "never events," it's a bit harder figuring out where to apply quality improvement strategies. About 5,000 percent harder.

Realistically, what you're likely to find are technologies which provide useful hooks into your existing data, which, which they may be sophisticated, aren't providing the care rules that need to drive improvement. (Those, of course, must be extracted from your clinical staff.) Typical entrants at HiMSS include business process management tools like the Medici platform offered by Asolva. You may also want to look at disease-specific options like Cogent's Equicare CS platform, which is designed to help manage cancer survivors, post treatment. You might also want to consider possibilities like the VPiMS and Vigilance solution from acuitec, which offer clinicians care tracking and monitoring options.

The truth is, though, when it comes to quality and outcomes management, HiMSS vendors can largely only offer pieces of a puzzle. Maybe when the industry develops more universally-accepted quality standards--a long process still early in the game--that dream solution will show up at HiMSS 2012.