Thursday, December 03, 2009

Coming Attractions in Education -- Harvard study: Computers don't save hospitals money


A Harvard Medical School study that looked at some of the nation's "most wired" hospital facilities found that computerization of those facilities hasn't saved them any money or improved administrative efficiency.

The recently released study evaluated data on 4,000 hospitals in the U.S over a four-year period and found that the immense cost of installing and running hospital IT systems is greater than any expected cost savings. And much of the software being written for use in clinics is aimed at administrators, not doctors, nurses and lab workers...

Himmelstein said that only a handful of hospitals and clinics realized even modest savings and increased efficiency -- and those hospitals custom-built their systems after computer system architects conducted months of research.

Has there been a similar study for schools?

Of course, I'd like to think good open source administrative platforms will eventually lower the cost of building effective, customized solutions for schools.

However, I am decidedly pessimistic that a rapid injection of RttT stimulus money into the current educational data systems market will produce the desired results.

Also, note that computerization here is decidedly a "sustaining innovation," not a "disruptive" one.

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