In any industry, communication is key- but none more so than healthcare, where it literally means life or death for patients every single day. The Institute of Medicine estimates that 98,000 people die every year from preventable medical errors, which would make it the 6th leading cause of death in America if the CDC counted the category.
According to the article The Clinical Connectivity Gap, breakdowns in communications systems are a common cause of medical errors. Many hospitals are starting to use technology like Bedside Medication Verification Systems that ensure caregivers deliver the right medication dosage at the right time. The use of technology greatly reduces unavoidable human error in dosage.
Another medical innovation that can reduce error is Electronic Health Records (EHRs), which are a systematic collection of health information about individual patients or populations. EHRs are still in their infancy but are being implemented more and more, despite a high cost. Starting in 2015, all hospitals will be required to use them or face penalties under Medicare.
As more hospitals implement technologies like EHRs and Bedside Verification Systems, costs are inevitably going to rise. Some may turn to factoring for cash flow financing, so factors should be aware of trends and changes within the industry.