Survey: Lack of technology proves ER not ready for bio-terror, outbreaks, flu threats

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    The survey invited clinicians and hospital administrators to complete a questionnaire to submit electronically. The 250 respondents were divided into two groups, emergency department professionals, and OR/ICU professionals.
The results also identified that 71 percent of emergency room professionals surveyed cited emergency department (ED) information systems for reducing patient wait times.
    The survey highlighted what clinicians and hospital administrators believe are the most important aspects of technology in their hospital. Many of the findings point to improving quality care, safety and efficiency. Among the specific findings:

  • Technology critical to improving communication: 78 percent of ER respondents believe efficiency increases when staff have access to other departments' data, such as operating room or ICU resources and the clinical results of a patient;
  • Nearly 80 percent of respondents cite that reporting of data has helped them re-engineer care processes at their medical center;
  • Some 65 percent of emergency room professionals are not equipped to detect an outbreak or prepare hospitals for a surge of patients;
  • 71 percent of respondents indicated that emergency department information systems have helped reduce patient wait times; and
  • Nearly 90 percent of respondents believe that it is important or very important to have web or remote access to a hospital's central information system to provide efficient, quality care from anywhere, anytime.