Fast Forward for IT in Healthcare
Everywhere you look, data is in high demand. That fact is especially true in the health care field, where information literally has the power to save lives.
At St. Joseph's Healthcare System in Paterson, NJ, information technology (IT) – the use of computers and telecommunications to store, retrieve, and transmit information – has taken on a special role. With St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, St. Joseph's Wayne Hospital, and St. Vincent's Nursing Home, all seeing expanded importance in the community, St. Joseph's has identified IT as a key to improving health care while also lowering costs.
"We've long appreciated the value and benefits of what better systems can do to optimize health care," said Jim Cavanagh, past Vice President/Chief Information Officer for St. Joseph's Healthcare System. "At St. Joseph's and across the country, the population is aging, the number of patients and patient acuity is on the rise, and outpacing the overall amount of dollars being allocated to health care. Simultaneously, there are many changes coming that will impact the way that healthcare providers are paid.
"All of this presses us to do the most possible for our patients and staff, while being as efficient as possible in terms of funding and resources," continues Cavanagh. "That's why it's especially critical for us at to make sure that each piece of information for a patient is available immediately, so there's no chance of a wrong diagnosis or any unnecessary duplication of services. Having the right information at our fingertips at the time of service is the goal."