Jordan Robertson had an article in Bloomberg Businessweek entitled, Crunch Two Data Sets, Call Me in the Morning (5/21/125/27/12, pp. 4042). Robertson makes some exciting observations about how our medical records need to continue catching up with our technology.
At its kernel, the concept is to use computers to replicate initial caregiver medical assessments. This technological process removes the human element of failure. This is especially important in the stress of busy emergency rooms and admissions processes, as Robertson explains:
Mistakes can lead to complications or missed warning signs and may increase a patients chance of winding up back in the hospital. (p. 41)
The concept pairs naturally with and depends upon the trend toward digitizing all medical records precisely because the concept works via data mining. You cant mine data that isnt there.
According to Robertson, increasing numbers of medical institutions are seeing the logical connection. This is prompting them to work with a number of different technology companies to implement solutions:
As hospitals digitize patient records and amass huge amounts of data, many are turning to companies such as Microsoft, SAS, Dell, IBM, and Oracle for their data-mining expertise, which can help medical providers perform detective work and improve care. (p. 41)
Dr. Nicholas Morrissey, a surgeon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, has been a supporter of this movement. In his mind, the process has been productive. For example, since using the data-mining technology, New York-Presbyterian Hospital has realized a drop in fatal blood clots by approximately 33%.
This is another example of strategically enabling our healthcare to catch up with our technology. Even the best human caregivers can make mistakes. Using data-mining technology provides an added layer of safety, knowledge, and reliability. And in the healthcare world, we dont want to compromise on any one of those three items.
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