It’s not IT, but it’s significant savings for the healthcare system

Normally I try to limit my comments to ways in which information technology is aiding patient safety and healthcare quality, but something more medical caught my eye this morning:

Since the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the varicella vaccination for all U.S. children in 1995, the rate of hospitalization for chicken pox fell by three-fourths, according to a study in the September issue of Pediatrics.

The researchers, from the University of Michigan, further found that charges for chicken pox-related hospitalizations declined from $161.5 million in 1993 to $66.3 million in 2001. That 59% decrease represents $95.8 million in spending removed from the U.S. healthcare system in an eight-year period.

I am off to San Francisco this evening for the triennial, international MedInfo conference. Watch this space for news and updates.