Health IT plays a role in tracking epidemics

Mass infections are driving the need to consider tracking software.

In addition to the everyday improvements that IT is poised to offer medical practices, professionals should think about the emergency uses of these systems as well. A Black Book survey published in FierceHealthIT recently addressed the need for advanced solutions when tracking dangerous diseases on a wide scale.

The survey polled 970 different medical workers and questioned them about the infection tracking solutions they employ. Interestingly, more than 80 percent of respondents said that the use of electronic health records did not accelerate the use of infection surveillance software. Organizations unsure or struggling to adapt might turn to a legal nurse consultant for help.

Although the amount of hospitals with more than 150 beds that use this software has increased in recent years, it still accounts for less than half of facilities. Almost 70 percent of respondents are planning on implementing this kind of software by next year.

In the wake of the recent Ebola outbreak, using smart solutions to help address he rate of infections is a vital and relevant topic. Black Book Managing Partner Doug Brown spoke in the statement about the way current circumstances have shown a lack of previous preparation.

"Until the attention brought to Infection Control (IC) recently by both Ebola and accountable care, the software received low acquisition priority by administrators who had back-burned Infection Control automation tools for electronic health records (EHR), interoperability, security and revenue cycle initiatives," he said.

In addition to software, many hospitals don't have the onsite resources to handle Ebola cases, which require special pressurized rooms for infected patients. Healthcare IT consulting specialists are available for organizations that need the assistance to understand important detection software.

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