Hospitals moving to automated technology from other industries to limit errors

In an effort to limit human error and improve care quality, health care providers are beginning to adopt sophisticated automated systems that have for years helped airline companies keep track of frequent flier miles and insurers provide quotes, the New York Times reports. Called Business Rule Management System (BRMS), the technology is being touted by companies such as Microsoft and IBM as a way hospitals can modernize what have so far been mostly manual procedures, such as gathering data from monitors; the companies are hoping to convince facilities to move beyond the so-called “documentation phase and purchase more automated systems with analytical tools,” according to the Times.


The article cites an example from Vanderbilt, which has been working with software from Ilog, a 20-year-old company that I.B.M. acquired last year for $340 million. It is creating automated health care systems to try to avoid human error and accomplish some tasks that a hospital might find nearly impossible to perform today.


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(Sources: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing,, March 20, 2009; The New York Times,, March 26, 2009)