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New Analysis By West Health Institute Finds Medical Device Interoperability Could Save More Than $30 Billion A Year

"Medical devices need to share data, based on standards, so that they can better inform clinicians and help patients," said Dr. Peter Pronovost, medical director for the Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care at John Hopkins University. "By doing so, we can both improve quality and reduce costs."

Analysis DesignThe analysis, titled "The Value of Medical Device Interoperability: Improving patient care with more than $30 billion in annual health care savings," is a first-of-its-kind effort, and is a starting point to understand the true potential of a connected health care marketplace that currently doesn't exist.  WHI conducted interviews with industry stakeholders and used existing published research to estimate the financial impact on the U.S. health care system.

Download the full analysis here: www.westhealth.org/institute/interoperability

Key areas in the analysis that demonstrate potential improvement to health care from lowered costs, improved patient care and increased collaboration between health care delivery and the medical device industry include:

  • Adverse events avoidable with medical device interoperability;
  • Redundant testing resulting from inaccessible information;
  • Clinician time spent manually entering information;
  • Increased length of stay from delays in information transfer;
  • Device testing and development costs; and
  • Provider costs to integrate devices with electronic health records.

This analysis, driven by WHI's work with the Medical Device Interoperability Coordination Council (MDICC), also illustrates how interoperability can positively impact patient care with several case studies. For example, functional interoperability could prevent adverse events due to drug errors. If a cancer patient's pain medication is distributed by an infusion pump that receives direct information from that patient's vital sign monitor, it could ensure the patient isn't over-medicated by mistake; these systems are typically independent and require multiple manual settings, all of which increase the potential for error and raise costs.

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