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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY KEY TO CONTROLLING COSTS IN HEALTH CARE REFORM

 WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Congressional leaders will glimpse the health care future tomorrow as scientists demonstrate how technology can keep medical costs down.
 A team of health care and information management specialists will demonstrate a wide range of readily available systems in the Speaker's Lobby of the Rayburn Building from 3-8 p.m. (EDT) tomorrow. The event will be held on Capitol Hill through the courtesy of Rep. G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery of Mississippi.
 A demonstration is sponsored by Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) and its partners Bell Atlantic Healthcare Systems, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina, Datacard Corp., Intersystems, Sun Microsystems Computer Corp., Texas Instruments and VIPS.
 Access to patient and health care management information is a key component of cost-effective managed care at a community level. These systems allow all health care providers to be able to coordinate and schedule resources across geographic areas, perform eligibility and benefit tracking and information networking among medical organizations to support clinical, financial, management and research activities. These technologies are now in use at military and commercial institutions.
 "Better decisions are made with better information," according to SAIC Health Care Group Senior Vice President Dave Cox. "Information technology in healthcare has lagged behind other industries because of the segregated nature of the present system. With more collaboration, we can put this technology to work and deliver better care at lower cost."
 For example, patients can be issued specialized data cards that contain multiple technologies such as magnetic stripes, bar codes, digitized photos or computer chips. Such cards instantly can provide basic -- but critical -- health care or benefits information, provide some security measures, and support eligibility checking.
 State-of-the-art patient record systems add value to the current clinical process by saving medical staff time; by offering up-to-the- minute, accurate records and consultative advice; and streamlining billing systems. They also benefit patients by preventing duplicate tests, performing drug interaction checks and ensuring accurate and current medical histories.
 The latest in telemedicine, which allows medical staff who are miles apart to remotely review charts and consult via video links, will be displayed. This technology will allow medically underserved rural areas to access specialists directly.
 "Increased access to information empowers consumers by helping them make more informed decisions, participate in the treatment process, and perhaps change behaviors that contribute to health problems," said Peter Gerlofs, M.D., SAIC. "For example, patients can watch tailored, unbiased information about the benefits and harms of alternative treatments, and can make informed choices about the care they receive."
 Sun Microsystems Computer Corporation (SMCC) is the world's leading vendor of open client-server computing solutions. It is an operating company of Sun Microsystems, Inc., the exclusive computer supplier to World Cup USA 1994. SMCC has its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
 SAIC is a diversified research and development firm and a leading systems integrator in the health care industry. Based in San Diego, the employee-owned company has annual revenues of $1.6 billion and 15,300 employees in more than 250 locations worldwide. SAIC's Center for Healthcare Technology is developing, integrating and testing technologies to meet health care challenges. The company's flagship automated patient record program, the Composite Health Care System (CHCS), currently is being installed in the Department of Defense medical facilities worldwide.
 -0- 9/21/93
 /CONTACT: Joan Moore, 703-824-5918/


CO: Science Applications International Corp. ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU:

JB-MF -- SD008 -- 4420 09/21/93 18:25 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 21, 1993
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