Healthcare loses $8.3 billion per year due to outdated technology

Kate Gaudet
Jul 12, 2013

Have you ever been told you were being discharged from the hospital and ended up waiting hours for discharge papers? Did you know that the average discharge time is currently 101 minutes? That’s enough time to frustrate any patient and end their hospital experience on a bad note. At some point, either you or a loved one has had to go to the Emergency Room or hospital, and have probably experienced hours in the waiting room, being moved to a hallway or private room only to wait again and been forced repeat to your story to every new nurse or doctor. If you haven’t, when your time comes the use of pagers and other outdated communication technologies in healthcare will be extinct and you will have a better experience.

A new study, “The Economic and Productivity Impact of IT Security on Healthcare”, found that the use of pagers and other outdated communication technologies decreases clinician productivity and increases patient discharge times; thus, costing U.S. hospitals an unnecessary abundance of $8.3 billion annually. This survey also revealed that doctors, nurses, and other caregivers waste more than 45 minutes per day as a result of outdated communication technologies still used in many healthcare organizations today. This is not only costing the average U.S. hospital nearly $1 million annually but is also costing the average hospital more than $550,000 per year in lost revenue. According to the Ponemon study, the solution to these outstanding costs is modernizing the technology within hospitals. “The goal is to maximize face time with patients. I think that could be achieved by having better technology”, said Larry Ponemon, Ph.D., Chairman and Founder, CIPP, Ponemon Institute. Unfortunately, hospitals are in the digital dark age when it comes to relying on outdated communication for treating patients which, as revealed in the study, hinders patient care and challenges the industry of healthcare by presenting secure text messaging. Not only is this form of communication up-to-date but it is also HIPAA compliant. Therefore, there is absolutely no reason why every hospital and clinic isn’t taking advantage of it. The survey found that 65% of respondents believe that secure text messaging can cut discharge time by 50 minutes, which the Ponemon Institute estimates could generate more than $3.1 billion in revenue per year across the healthcare industry. Many people within the industry might argue that they can’t justify the cost of a secure text messaging solution. What many people don’t realize is that clinicians are already using their personal devices to text other doctors and their patients, insecurely. The only concern with this is that it violates HIPAA regulations and could cost hospitals millions of dollars in fines and negatively impact patients. In a recent USA Today Article, Edward Ricks, Beaufort’s chief information officer said, "The manufacturing and banking industries have been doing these things for a long time. These technologies aren't new. It's just that the culture for using them to improve workflows hasn't happened in hospital culture." This is an important point and healthcare IT companies like Imprivata hope that their products can convince hospitals to come out of the digital dark ages and foster new modernized technologies.

Imprivata Cortext, a secure text messaging application that allows doctors to communicate without violating any HIPAA laws, is a new product by Imprivata that is free and also easily accessible on any computer or Android/Apple device. Get Cortext now at www.cortext.com.