Quality is free

From iHealthBeat, here’s some more fodder for the recent debate on whether technology drives medical costs up or down.

Infection-tracking technology has saved four Alabama hospitals that have participated in the Alabama Hospital Quality Initiative for two years a total of $4.96 million in addition to “an incalculable amount of needless patient suffering,” HealthLeaders reports.

The software helps hospitals identify root causes of infection outbreaks quickly, which lets them react before it’s too late.

Process technology tools like this, which spots problems early before they spiral out of control, should keep costs down. On the other hand, technology that opens up new avenues of expensive investigation and testing –like some advanced imaging tools– may drive costs up.

June 29, 2005

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