Because of the need for security, hospitals and other healthcare organizations continue to use older, outdated technology such as pagers, email and facsimile machines. The use of older technology can also delay patient discharges. It now takes, on average, 102 minutes to be discharged. About 37 minutes is spent waiting for doctors, specialists or others to respond with information necessary for a patient's release.
The Ponemon Institute estimates that the lengthy discharge process costs the U.S. hospital industry more than $3.189 billion a year in lost revenue, with another $5 billion lost through decreased doctor productivity and the use of pagers and other outdated communications technologies.
Sixty-five percent of respondents believe secure text messaging could cut discharge time by 50 minutes.
According to the study, clinicians waste an average of 46 minutes each day due to the use of outdated technologies. The primary reason is the inefficiency of pagers (as cited by 52% of survey respondents), followed by the lack of Wi-Fi availability (39%) and the inadequacy of email (38%).
The study was sponsored by Imprivata a healthcare security software and services company.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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