The Institute of Medicine released a report this week stating that recent advances in technology are the answer to addressing the problems within an increasingly complicated healthcare system plagued by inefficiency, high costs and poor quality. 
In the extensive report, Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America, an expert panel discusses improvement strategies to make information more accessible and engage patients and their families. The recommendations include increased adoption of health information technology, increased connectivity, use of new payment models and a re-engineering of healthcare systems.
“Missed opportunities for better healthcare have real human and economic impacts,” the committee said in the report. “If the care in every state were of the quality delivered by the highest-performing state, an estimated 75,000 fewer deaths would have occurred across the country in 2005. Current waste diverts resources from productive use, resulting in an estimated $750 billion loss in 2009.”
“Available knowledge is too rarely applied to improve the care experience, and information generated by the care experience is too rarely gathered to improve the knowledge available,” the report said. “The traditional systems for transmitting new knowledge—the ways clinicians are educated, deployed, rewarded, and updated—can no longer keep pace with scientific advances. If unaddressed, the current shortfalls in the performance of the nation’s healthcare system will deepen on both quality and cost dimensions, challenging the well-being of Americans now and potentially far into the future.”
Dr. Mark Smith, president and CEO of the California Healthcare Foundation and chair of the committee, said the report was “fundamentally optimistic” because the changes it advocates for are happening in many places already. “That is profoundly encouraging,” he said.
Technological advances can certainly help the current state of healthcare, as recent developments are able to raise the quality of care while simultaneously lowering costs. Finding the right software and software provider are crucial to implementing these new technologies into any facility. For more information on how recent developments in medical technology can benefit patients and providers, visit woundrounds.com.
 MCKinney, Maureen. IOM calls for better use of technology in healthcare. Modern Healthcare. Web. 06 September 2012.