Book Review — Innovation with Information Technologies in Healthcare

From time to time at AmericanEHR  we receive books for review. Innovation with Information Technologies in Healthcare, edited by Lyle Berkowitz and Chris McCarthy, is one of those rare gems that bridges the gap between implementation and use of information technology, drawn from individuals’ experiences who have successfully applied those tools in clinical settings. At the introduction of each chapter, the reader is presented with a clinical scenario based upon a real-life situation. This is followed by a description of the background behind the technology, the reason for the innovation, why the innovation succeeded, lessons learned, and future plans.

The book is easy to read and provides a number of fascinating insights into the challenges faced and how barriers were overcome or identified as issues that would need to be addressed in future iterations. The book is divided into three sections. The first focuses on actions that can be taken after implementing an EHR; the second looks at some innovative approaches to virtual interactions and telemedicine; and the final section is forward-looking with new ideas, visions, and approaches. A number of authors will be easily recognizable as thought leaders in their particular areas.

A number of chapters that I particularly enjoyed:

  • “Making ‘Right’ Easier” by Dr Peter Basch — highlighting the value of unobtrusive integration of actionable medical prompts
  • “‘All of None’ Bundle Philosophy” by Dr Thomas R. Graf — bundles of related care processes and outcomes used at Geisinger Health System
  • “Automatically Getting Better” by Dr David C Stockwell and Dr Brian R Jacobs — Automated Adverse Event Detection at Children’s National in Washington DC
  • “The Connected Patient” by Dr Jonathan S Wald — Partners Healthcare’s Patient Gateway system — patient portal

Whether you are looking for information on home telehealth, gamification of health technology, or tips to optimize EMRs, there are a number of compelling stories, in addition to practical background information to support innovation in areas that are covered. If I have one criticism of the book, it is that the information provided is limited to specific scenarios and one finishes the book wanting more of the same, but on a wider range of topics.

Highly recommended reading, and, from my perspective, two thumbs up!

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