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Crit Care Nurs Clin North Am. 1998 Mar;10(1):117-25.

Impact of technology on costs and patient outcome.

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Barnes Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.


Technology is only as effective as the clinicians who employ the technology and the system in which they function. For any technology to change patient outcome, or be cost effective, clinicians must be educated and incented to change their practice. At this point in American health care, technology appears to vary widely in the effectiveness in which it is employed. Research consistently decries the lack of effective use of technology. Some authors have claimed this lack of consistent use of technology is near a crisis proportion, both in terms of the costs and impact on patient outcome. The wide variability in technology application is understandable owing to the lack of a unifying approach to the application, education, and evaluation of technology. Only when we have an organized system, lead by professional societies, will technology usage achieve standardization. Until that time, individual hospitals need to follow guidelines like the ones presented in this article to ensure patients are receiving optimal and cost-effective care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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