Investment in IT is considered a driving factor in improving patient care; the critical question asked by CEOs, CFOs, and board members is whether hospitals achieve a financial return from their IT investments. The inability to measure and account for financial benefits from IT investments has led some hospital administrators to avoid making these types of capital investments that can provide more efficient, higher-quality care and also improve patient and provider satisfaction. One health care system that decided to make this investment is Banner Health, which implemented an IT system at its newest hospital, Banner Estrella Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. By investing in IT and receiving input from physicians, pharmacists, nurses, informaticists, and other clinicians, the hospital was able to design new work flows and establish evidence-based order sets. The improved IT design and standard order sets were implemented across departmental functions such as care management, clinical documentation, computerized provider order entry (CPOE), nursing order management, and medication administration and scheduling, and also across processes in departments such as health information management, emergency services, obstetrics, pediatrics, pharmacy, and surgery. This IT investment resulted in a $2.6 million cost savings from greater retention of nurses, which lowered the costs of recruiting, hiring, and training new nurses, and from reducing accounts receivable billing by one day, which resulted in faster payment; decreasing the incidence of adverse drug events, length of stay, and pharmacy costs; decreasing overtime expenses for nurses as a result of improving their efficiency in charting and shifting tasks; and reducing forms costs because information was digitized.
-Apply a cost-benefit analysis to consider potential profit and risks to your organization based on the experience of Banner Health System. Use Plowman’s spreadsheet “Cost Benefit Analysis Template” to display your data.
-Utilize professional research to analyze opportunities for your organization based on potential profits and risks. Include a discussion on improved quality of care that may be realized.
-Devise a strategy to influence multiple levels of your organization, especially providers. Describe at least two steps you would take to influence others and enlist endorsements for the conversion.
-Identify the key stakeholders to gain support for this initiative and explain how you will gain their support.
-Evaluate two state-of-the-art systems currently being used in other organizations that your organization may consider for this conversion.
-Evaluate the strategic position of your organization after this IT implementation in relation to the use of technology such as hand-held devices, patient portals, et cetera.
-Evaluate the probable expectations of your providers and patients surrounding this conversion.
-Develop a strategic plan for this implementation based on the expectations of providers and patients.