President Obama Highlights Medical Error Issues

February 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: ergonomics, human factors 

In his press conference earlier this week, President Obama highlighted, among other things, the need to bring the U.S. health care system into the 21st Century.  Specifically, he stated:

“The same applies when it comes to information technologies in health care. We know that health care is crippling businesses and making us less competitive as well as breaking the banks of families all across America, and part of the reason is we’ve got the most inefficient health care system imaginable. We’re still using paper — we’re still filing things in triplicate. Nurses can’t read the prescriptions that doctors have written out. Why wouldn’t we want to put that on an electronic medical record that will reduce error rates, reduce our long-term cost of health care, and create jobs right now?”

While I commend the President on highlighting an important issue, my concern is that new technology, such as electronic medical record systems, needs to be appropriately implemented using human factors and ergonomics methods to ensure increased patient and worker safety.  This is something I discussed in an article published last year in Materials Management in Health Care.

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