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Journal articles show potential for technology to change medicine

Release Date: July 10, 2012
Contact: Lisa Hildebrand - 608.442.3765 lisa.hildebrand@wismed.org

Madison — The current issue of WMJ (vol. 111, no. 3) highlights how new technology might affect clinical decisions, placement of clinical resources and creative approaches to improving quality and linking health care to the environment. Four papers in this special issue of the journal published by the Wisconsin Medical Society relate to the possibilities for technology and health.

In one article, the authors wanted to create a live data analysis to help focus hospitalists and intensivists to make better plans for transitioning care and assuring follow-up for a select group of patients. The authors of another article used a combination of data from clinical encounters and geographic information system (GIS) services to show how such data might be applied to getting care closer to the populations in rural parts of the state. “In the new ‘enlightened’ era of data sharing, perhaps multiple systems could work together rather than compete to get service to communities in need,” Medical Editor John Frey, III, MD, wrote.

Another paper identifies the challenges and opportunities for developing a clinical management registry from two high-need populations to deliver collaborative care and monitor depression in at-risk patients. The authors of the fourth article show the enormous potential from “mashing up” data from large health systems and their electronic health records (EHRs) along with public health, population and census data that could show patterns of illness and could lead to a remarkable understanding of the interrelationships of medicine, society and the environment.

“Together, these articles show the potential for clinical information to change medicine, if medicine looks to engineering and the social sciences to help doctors not only see patients, but to ‘see’ populations and patterns that have always been there but have been invisible to many of us,” Dr. Frey wrote.

Published by the Wisconsin Medical Society, WMJ is devoted to the interests of the medical profession and health care in the Midwest. The peer-reviewed publication, which is available in print and electronic format, is one of the few state medical society-sponsored medical journals that publish a large amount of original research and academic content.