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IT in the ED: Past, Present, and Future

Hoffman, Jeffrey M. MD, CMIO*; Zorc, Joseph J. MD, MSCE; Harper, Marvin B. MD

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e318289f7cd
IT in the ED

Over the past 40 years, information technology in the emergency department (ED) has evolved from primitive tracking, order entry, and laboratory reporting systems to complex multifunctional applications that permeate all aspects of patient care and ED operations. Spurred by incentive programs and technological improvements, both ED physicians and administrators view these systems as a way to increase staff efficiency, to improve patient care quality and safety, to satisfy compliance and reporting obligations, and to reduce costs. As organizations implement and optimize systems, it is helpful to look back at how these technologies were developed, to review the current impacts and effects of their use, and to glimpse the future of information technology in the ED.

From the *Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University School of Medicine, Columbus, OH; and †The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA; and ‡The Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Jeffrey M. Hoffman, MD, CMIO, Information Services Department, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, 515 E Main St, 1st Floor, Columbus, OH 43215 (e-mail:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.