A New Prescription for Saving Lives
Manufacturers of health-care business solutions discuss a changing market and what distributors can do to tap into it
HEALTH-CARE ADVANCES are reaching sci-fi proportions. In 2003, the human genome was unlocked. Today, patients can swallow a pill-sized camera delivering thousands of internal images directly to a physician's computer. And soon on the horizon, pharmaceuticals dubbed "super drugs" will be customized to target an individual's specific genetic makeup, thus enhancing drug efficacy. The health-care industry is arguably the most technologically competitive and innovative market worldwide. But for an industry so quick in the application of patient care technology, it has been life-threateningly slow in adopting essential business and information systems.
In a groundbreaking report titled, "To Err is Human," the Institute of Medicine reported, an estimated 98,000 people die in the United States annually as a result of medical errors. This number is staggering when compared with deaths caused by high profile antecedents, such as motor vehicle accidents (43,458) and breast cancer (42,297). A vast number of these medical errors are being attributed to poor business systems and failures in the flow of information.
In light of the above findings, a new checks-and-balances system is coming into play with automation, privacy and security at its core. The inevitable move toward a safer and more efficient centralized system of Electronic Medical Records is giving health-care providers the push to find out what cost-effective, high efficiency solutions distributors can make available to them. While making the inevitable move toward high-tech digital solutions, this is one industry that will continue to rely heavily on printed paper products far into the future.
For manufacturers and distributors in the business systems and printed products industry, deep
in the throes of an industry-wide metamorphosis of their own, the solutions-hungry health-care market could prove to be the king's ransom.