Healthcare IT in Asia

Start with the Basics

Peter Gross

Peter Gross

Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Hackensack University Medical Center, USA.

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Virtually all areas of Healthcare IT need further development. In fact, they will be in a state of evolution for a long time.

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In your experience, how has IT helped improve patient care, what are your expectations from it in the coming years?

IT when properly implemented in an orderly fashion should improve patient safety, facilitate compliance with performance measures, reduce costs, and improve physician and nurse satisfaction with their jobs and their health care institution.

Considering that a majority of Asian countries are still developing, do you think Asia is ready for the rapid technological changes shaping healthcare globally?

I think you need to start with the basics. Automate laboratory and radiology results reporting, then follow up with a pharmacy system that helps manage physician orders. Build in some clinical decision support to help reduce errors from medication ordering. Putting transcripts of history and physical dictations and those of operative notes online could come next. Add electronic signatures. Nursing documentation and the electronic medical administration record can follow. This approach is reviewed in Gross and Bates. JAMIA 2007;14:25-28.

How do you see the adoption of PHRs and EMRs in Asia? Do you think Asian hospitals are prepared to shift toward the trend?

PHRs and EMRs are inevitable to accomplish what was described in the first question. They also will be the basis for a country wide RHIO (Regional Health Information Organization) or HIE (Health Information Exchange) which will permit doctors and patients wherever they are in that country to access there medical information.

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