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Treating health care [being interactive]

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1 Author(s)
Singh, M.P. ; North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC, USA

The numbers are staggering. In a chilling report, the U.S. Institute of Medicine (10M) estimates that somewhere between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die each year from "avoidable medical errors" costing the nation about US$17 billion to US$29 billion annually. Errors include failing to make timely and accurate diagnosis, selecting improper treatment, and following a treatment plan incorrectly. For example, hospital staff might give the wrong drug or dosage, or a surgeon might operate on the wrong body part. Errors in surgery or emergency treatment can be especially serious. The root causes of these errors are inadequate training, poor processes, and information systems that don't expose patient information at relevant times - sometimes leading to confusion about the patient's identity or the intended procedures. Network technologies show great promise in solving some of the dangerous and tragic "avoidable medical errors" that currently plague the health care industry.

Published in:

Internet Computing, IEEE  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 4 )