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Sustaining Healthcare Through Waste Elimination: A Taxonomic Analysis with Case Illustrations

Sustaining Healthcare Through Waste Elimination: A Taxonomic Analysis with Case Illustrations
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Author(s): Sharie L. Falan (Western Michigan University, USA), Bernard Han (Western Michigan University, USA), Linda H. Zoeller (Western Michigan University, USA), J. Michael Tarn (Western Michigan University, USA) and Donna M. Roach (Bronson Methodist Healthcare Group, USA)
Copyright: 2011
Volume: 6
Issue: 4
Pages: 22
Source title: International Journal of Healthcare Information Systems and Informatics (IJHISI)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Joseph Tan (McMaster University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/jhisi.2011100101

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Abstract

The growth in U.S. national health expenditures (NHE) has continuously outpaced its Gross Domestic Products (GDP) growth since 1997 and this trend will continue with a 2.1% annual gap for the next decade (RAND, 2010). This nonstop healthcare cost increase make healthcare one of the most urgent issues in USA. Concurred by this study, the key factor that drives up the healthcare costs is waste. In this paper, a taxonomy on the root causes of healthcare waste is developed with a corroboration on why healthcare waste could be eliminated through effective use of health information technology (HIT). Furthermore, real world cases are used to highlight the research findings that waste can be avoided by: (a) recognizing the precursor of each potential waste, (b) examining business processes using defined detection criteria, and (c) implementing HIT systems that support efficient information sharing among all healthcare stakeholders. Finally, recommendations for implementing IT enabled healthcare management systems are presented.

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