Hospitals turning to database software to help maintain health records

Posted by Justin Hesser on May 16, 2012

Hospitals contain a wealth of data. Not only do physicians need to know immediate data – what may have happened to a patient and how – but also medical history and the complicated web of medical insurance.

These institutions may benefit from a custom database software that can provide the robust information processing systems that are also easy to use – much like database software FileMaker – which is why, according to BusinessWeek, many hospitals are seeking help to keep track of this wealth of data.

According to the media source, only 35 percent of hospitals have integrated electronic health records into their daily operation. In response to the rising IT crisis in America's hospitals, a group of New York healthcare providers created the New York Digital Health Accelerator. Started on May 10, the program will give 12 health IT startups the opportunity to design a custom database software that will, hopefully, improve the access and processing of medical data and records.

The program is backed by numerous hospitals and care providers as well as a slew of venture capital firms and the New York City Investment Fund. Startups have until June 1 to design and implement their software, which will be chosen over the summer.

One of the main goals of the operation is to improve the State Health Information Network of New York, a database that provides caregivers with a wealth of information, but requires an upgrade in access as many physicians are still unable to gain the necessary data from this source.

One example comes from the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. According to BusinessWeek, one woman was hospitalized due to a cough she claimed was "brought on by the spirits." She was given psychiatric medicine and released to her family, who the doctors kept regular contact with for two months before losing track. When the hospital finally found her, it turns out she had been admitted twice without the hospital knowing until months after the fact.