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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 was started 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/ PricewaterhouseCoopers 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 Consultants has published the Hospital Manager’s Y2K Crisis Manual, a compilation of resources for non-technical hospital managers.
This 150-page reference book includes information in non-technical language on the problems your facility faces, 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 HCFA 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.
The Hospital Manager’s Y2K Crisis Manual is available for $149 from American Health Consultants in Atlanta. Call customer service at (800) 688-2421, or access www.ahcpub.com.