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From The CriticsReviewer: William G. Lachenauer(Medical College of Wisconsin)
Description: This book attempts to describe the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' management of information standards. In support of JCAHO's strategic mission "to improve the quality of care provided to the public," the organization has developed a set of information management standards that focus on getting accurate information to users in an efficient and timely manner.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an overview of the information standards as well as how the standards will be surveyed. This book is an excellent introduction to the implementation and ongoing use of these information management standards. For the most part, the objectives have been met.
Audience: This book is intended for information management managers and medical records managers in health care organizations. In my judgment, CEOs and CIOs should read this book (or a revised edition: see assessment) to provide corporate-level support for this project and develop a better understanding of the potential impact on quality improvement.
Features: The material has been researched and presented it in a logical and understandable manner. The illustrations for the most part did not add significantly to the understanding of the material. Some of the questions asked were more relevant for future reference when the standards are implemented. Both the table of contents and index are adequate. The overall appearance of the book is average, but I did find that the content is exceptional because the authors have focused on the real problem in health care today, which is the need to improve the quality of care provided to the public.
Assessment: This is an excellent book that provides the basics for any health care organization develop a comprehensive information management plan. The information management standard provides a "biofeedback" mechanism that when properly used would have a dramatic positive impact on the quality of care provided. This book avoids the technical confusion associated with most information management guides and therefore will be understood by most audiences. In order for this standard to have the impact on quality care that it should, it must generate a commitment from the top of the organization. Providing more focus on the benefits of measurable care quality and its impact on the organization's ability to compete in this environment would accelerate the standards acceptance and support from the top. I believe that the implementation of information management standards is one of the keys to solving the current health care crisis.