The rise of consumerism is leading many health care organizations to rethink their information technology strategies. In the past, decisions about the kinds of technologies to purchase and implement were driven by how they would make our lives easier here, says Jim Beinlich, associate CIO at University of Pennsylvania Health System. Now the perspective is how does this technology support creating the ideal patient experience? To make sure consumers demands are met, health care organizations must take steps to involve physicians, nurses and marketers, as well as technology experts, in their strategic decisions about I.T., Beinlich says. If the IT department was the only group trying to make these decisions, we wouldnt be as sensitized to the consumer aspect of this as we are, he adds. Consumerism is really impacting what patients expect with regard to how they interact with health care providers and payers, says Dan Garrett, health care IT practice leader at Price Waterhouse Coopers, a New York-based consulting firm. Consumers want easier access to information as well as better access to clinicians via e-mail, telemedicine and other options, he says. To read an in-depth report from the April issue of Health Data Management on the impact of consumerism, click here. This article can also be found at HealthDataManagement.com.
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