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With the year 2000 (Y2K) deadline fast approaching, hospitals, other health care providers and the medical device industry are scrambling to complete a process that in many cases began too late.
What may have once been a logistical issue is burgeoning into an overwhelming problem, compounded by the scarcity of time, rising costs, and a lack of programming resources and expertise.
The health care industry has found itself under increased pressure as the realization dawns that it is behind the curve in preparing for Y2K. According to a recent Modern Healthcare/Price- waterhouseCoopers survey, the biggest worry among 69% of health care providers is that patients will be "affected due to faulty monitoring gear," followed by concern over "inaccurate lab tests and pharmacy orders" (36%), problems with patient records (34%), and worries about billing and paychecks.
As the Y2K issue moves far beyond a mere "technological" issue, American Health Con- sultants, publisher of Same-Day Surgery, has compiled the Hospital Manager’s Y2K Crisis Manual, a compilation of resources for nontechnical managers.
This 150-page reference manual includes information in nontechnical language on the problems your facility will face, the potential fixes, and the possible consequences, including:
• Will your computers and software work in 2000?
• What does Y2K mean for patient care?
• What will happen to your medical devices?
• How can you make sure your vendors are Y2K-compliant?
• Are you at legal risk due to Y2K?
• Are you prepared if Y2K delays payments?
Jan. 1, 2000, is not a moving target. Either your computer systems, medical devices, and suppliers can handle the date change and maintain business as usual, or they can’t, in which case your entire organization may face serious problems.
For more information on the Hospital Manager’s Y2K Crisis Manual, contact American Health Consultants’ customer service. Telephone: (800) 688-2421. Fax: (800) 284-3291. E-mail: customer firstname.lastname@example.org.