With a national shortage in intensivists looming, this Chicago hospital system turned to technology to improve its ICU mortality rates. Resurrection Health Care wasn’t looking for an information system when it launched its mission to build a better ICU. But that’s what it ended up with—and then some. After forming a task force to explore new safety approaches and ways to improve quality of critical care, the eight-hospital system in the Chicago area implemented the eICU program from Visicu, a Philips Healthcare company.

The economic stimulus package is boosting interest in RHIOs, but long-term sustainability remains an elusive goal. In the sea of acronyms that is the healthcare field, Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) represent the next wave of information exchange among physicians, hospitals, laboratories, insurance companies, and other entities that need to have access to patient data.

Without an integrated communications plan overseeing your Web site, you aren’t making the most of your site. Here’s how to extend continuous improvement efforts from the real world into cyberspace. Of all the questions any manager must ask when it comes to Web sites, perhaps none is more important than one simple word—why. Why bother having a Web site in the first place? What purpose will it serve? Just as simple is the answer—in modern healthcare, Web sites are seen as a differentiating factor in the overall quality of an organization. 

The adoption of electronic health record (EHR) technology has been frustratingly slow, and the reasons for the slow pace aren’t insignificant. Cost is obvious, but resistance to change and examples of EHR failure are factors keeping physicians and hospitals on the sidelines. Federal stimulus dollars will help spur some groups into action, but the key to widespread adoption is the relationship between EHRs and quality care.  

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