In honor of National Health IT Week (May 14 – 18), a week-long forum dedicated to increasing the awareness and impact of IT for healthcare, QuadraMed compiled a list of the Top 10 reasons consumers should care about medical technology. All the healthcare IT (HIT) vendors are out in force this week pushing their wares but I thought QuadraMed’s focus on why consumers should care was unique.
10. HIT Improves the Quality of Care Received
9. HIT is Critical in the Event of a Nation-Wide Emergency
8. HIT Increases Accountability from Providers
7. HIT Prevents Medical Errors and Saves Consumers’ Lives
6. HIT Can Empower Consumers to Make Smarter Healthcare Decisions
5. HIT Saves Consumers Money
4. HIT Allows Nurses to Spend More Time with Patients
3. HIT Increases the Health of the Entire American Population
2. HIT Keeps Hospitals Profitable
1. HIT Decreases Billing Errors
Now, I’m not sure I agree with all the 10 items but I applaud QuadraMed’s effort to sell this to the consumers. Without consumer action, healthcare IT will be relegated to the backend and won’t really achieve the kinds of results that are possible with consumers in the driving seat. Much as consumers pushed banking and retails systems to open up and has brought auto and home insurance firms kicking and screaming into the 21st century, if consumers really demanded more from their doctors and hospitals we might actually be able to use healthcare IT to do the kinds of things QuadraMed is saying in their top 10 list.