Transforming Health Care: The Financial Impact of Technology Electronic Tools, and Data Mining by Philip Fasano
A Book Review
This paper will examine Philip Fasano’s book Transforming Health Care: The Financial Impact of Technology, Electric Tools, and Data Mining. Fasano holds the position of Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Kaiser Permanente Health System. Prior to his appointment to the position of CIO, Fasano worked on Wall Street in the technology and financial industry for twenty five years (Fasano, 2013, page 1). Needless to say, Fasano brings a wealth of technical knowledge to the healthcare industry. Fasano talks about his experiences working as a CIO at Kaiser Permanente and moving Kaiser into the digital age of healthcare. This paper will discuss the benefits of applying technology to address the business needs of healthcare organizations and the impact on patient outcomes, financial cost, regulatory changes, new opportunities for healthcare data, the restructuring of the care delivery model, and predictive medicine.
The United States leads the world in healthcare expenditures due to missed opportunities for technological advancements (Fasano, 2103, page 5). The U.S. healthcare industry has logged behind other industries such as banking, retail, and automotive when it comes to technology adoption. Yes, there have been many breakthroughs with diagnostic technologies such as the MRI, CT and PET scanners. However, when it comes to health care data and how the data is used to drive patient care, the healthcare industry is now realizing that there are opportunities to change the patient care delivery model with the right health information technology solutions (Fasano, 2103, 6). The use of health information technology offers better tools and platform for patient care. Smart technological solutions for patient care provide patients with connect care, preventative care and affordable care (Fasano, 2013, page 8). In 2009, President Obama allocated $19 billion in federal stimulus fund as an incentive for hospitals and health care providers to implement electronic medical record (EMR) and electronic health record (EHR) (Fasano, 201, page 8). This is a form of health information technology that gathers patient health care information. Hospitals and practitioners have to show meaningful use of a certified EHR or EMR system to qualify for the incentive funds. “Doctors can qualify for $40,000 to 64,000 in incentives; hospitals, several million dollars” (Fasano, 2013, page 8). Hospitals and practitioners that participate in the Medicare program will need to have an EMR or EHR system in place by this year or face reduced Medicare reimbursement (Fasano, 2013, page 9).
Prior to electronic and digital patient health record, patients’ health information was kept in paper format in large folders. Many of these records were subjected to damage from disaster, missing information from the chart, and misinterpretation of doctors’ orders because of illegible handwriting (Fasano, page 6). These scenarios present many patient safety issues that impact the quality of the patients’ care as well as the cost for care.
According to Fasano (2013), health information technology such as EHR is slowly being adopted by healthcare organizations and providers. The momentum for EHR adoption appears to be more in the western states followed by the northern states in comparison to other states (Fasano, 2013, page 6).
Fasano discussed the future of healthcare and how it offers the population seamless health care by having patient care data visibility by the care providers at all levels of care. Patient care information would no longer be in silos allowing for efficient and cost effective care that yield quality outcomes for patients. Health information technology such as EMR is changing modern medicine to a model that is data driven. The accessibility of clinical data