The Vanderbilt University Medical Center has turned to business software from IBM’s Ilog unit in a bid to save lives and lower costs, reports the New York Times. A few years ago, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies released some sobering findings: At least 1.5 million people are hurt by medication mistakes every year in the United States, costing hospitals about $3.5 billion in additional treatment expenses. Technology companies claim to have a means of lowering these figures, and it’s called BRMS, which stands for Business Rule Management System. The broad phrase covers policies set up by businesses to automate some day-to-day technology functions.
For example, airlines use this type of technology to monitor how many flights an individual takes and then make sure that frequent fliers receive promotions and upgrades.
Vanderbilt has been working with Ilog software to create automated health-care systems to avoid human error and accomplish some tasks that a hospital might find nearly impossible to perform today. Vanderbilt has started funneling data gathered from patient monitors, its pharmacy, and its doctor paging system into a central location. As a result, it can detect issues like sudden changes in a patient’s condition and fire off a page to a doctor, requesting an immediate response. In addition, its rules engine can alert nurses and doctors to potentially harmful combinations of drugs issued by the pharmacy…

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