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Respiratory Care Management Information Systems

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Abstract:

Hospital-wide computerized information systems evolved from the need to capture patient information and perform billing and other financial functions. These systems, however, have fallen short of meeting the needs of respiratory care departments regarding work load assessment, productivity management, and the level of outcome reporting required to support programs such as patient-driven protocols. The respiratory care management information systems (RCMIS) of today offer many advantages over paper-based systems and hospital-wide computer systems. RCMIS are designed to facilitate functions specific to respiratory care, including assessing work demand, assigning and tracking resources, charting, billing, and reporting results. RCMIS incorporate mobile, point-of-care charting and are highly configurable to meet the specific needs of individual respiratory care departments. Important and substantial benefits can be realized with an RCMIS and mobile, wireless charting devices. The initial and ongoing costs of an RCMIS are justified by increased charge capture and reduced costs, by way of improved productivity and efficiency. It is not unusual to recover the total cost of an RCMIS within the first year of its operation. In addition, such systems can facilitate and monitor patient-care protocols and help to efficiently manage the vast amounts of information encountered during the practitioner's workday. Respiratory care departments that invest in RCMIS have an advantage in the provision of quality care and in reducing expenses. A centralized respiratory therapy department with an RCMIS is the most efficient and cost-effective way to monitor work demand and manage the hospital-wide allocation of respiratory care services.

Keywords: COMPUTERS; DATA COLLECTION; INFORMATION MANAGEMENT; MEDICAL RECORDS; PATIENT RECORDS; RESPIRATORY CARE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Respiratory Services, University of California, San Diego Medical Center, 200 West Arbor Drive, San Diego CA 92103–8771;, Email: rmford@ucsd.edu

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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