IT in the ED: Past, Present, and Future

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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.

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