Business Problem-Solving Case

During a typical trip to the doctor, you will see shelves full of folders and papers devoted to the storage of medical records. Every time you visit, your records are created or modified, and often duplicate copies are generated throughout the course of a visit to the doctor or a hospital.

Take a look at your doctor’s office and chances are you’ll see a bevy of clerks bent over desks filled with paper forms, mostly insurance claim documents. The majority of medical records are currently paper-based, making effective communication and access to the ecords difficult: only 8 percent of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals and 17 percent of the nation’s 800,000 doctors use computerized health care records of any kind.Americans made well over a billion visits to doctors and hospitals over the past year, with each American making approximately four visits on average. As a result, there are millions of paper medical records lining the corridors of thousands of local medical practices, and for the most part, they cannot be systematically examined, and they are difficult to share. Now for some good news: the administrative waste ould be largely eliminated by a massive investment in a nationwide health care record system based on standardized record formats, and the participation of all elements in the health care provider industry. The United States spends about $2 trillion on healthcare, and about $700 billion or one-third is “waste,” loosely defined as costs that could be shed if the healthcare industry followed best practices.

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This waste is a major reason why the United States has the highest-cost medical system per capita in the world. Among the many sources of waste are fraud, duplicate tests, unnecessary are, medical mistakes, administrative inefficiency, redundant paperwork, and a paper-based health records system. The outdated administrative procedures and records situation causes an estimated 25 percent of the total “waste,” or about $175 billion a year.There’s more good news about medical records: the new Obama administration in February 2009 set aside $19 billion to fund a Health Information Technology program as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The goal: computerize all health records by 2014.

And the major technology ompanies are banding together and offering up solutions, responding to the opportunity of billions of dollars of government contracts. IBM, Google, Microsoft, and a consortium of medical device makers and other companies have formed an alliance to create a software platform that will allow medical data from at-home devices like glucose meters and blood pressure moni- Case Study Questions 1. What concepts in the chapter are illustrated in this case? Who are the stakeholders in this case? 2.

What are the problems with America’s current medical record keeping system? How would electronic edical records alleviate these problems? 3. What management, organization, and technology factors are most critical to the creation and development of electronic medical records? 4. What are the pros and cons of electronic patient records? Do you think the concerns over digitizing our medical records are valid? Why or why not? 5. Should people entrust Google with their electronic medical records? Why or why not? 6. If you were in charge of designing an electronic medical record keeping system, what are some features you would include? What are features you would avoid?