2017 Top Tier Hospital HITs

It’s that time of year when many are making predictions for 2017 and the subject matter of health IT in the United States continues to be a hot topic for discussion.  As we continue to see an increased threat to patient data, many in the hospital IT world are looking at a myriad of security vulnerabilities and having to weigh those with other initiatives such as maintaining the EHR evolution or delving into interfaces with connected health devices.

HIMSS Analytics teamed up with Healthcare IT News to spotlight technologies that have the greatest predicted buying activity for U.S. hospitals in the coming year.  Today’s post will be a two-part summation, looking first at the top ten from their findings.  (Quotes below are from Matt Schuchardt, director of market intelligence solutions sales at HIMSS Analytics as noted in the research with Healthcare IT News.)

  1. Health Information Exchange. HIE  allows health care professionals and patients to appropriately access and securely share a patient’s vital medical information electronically.  “This is one is one where there’s a bunch of new purpose-built vendors in the space,” said Schuchardt. “The majority of installs are in EMR or legacy systems, but we’re seeing some movement toward some specific systems – even in places where people are focused around an HIE that does more than connect them just within their vendor but connects them to other organizations as they look to control their catchment area, maintain where patients are going and exchange the right data while maintaining the security necessary to protect PHI. About half of hospitals have some sort of system in place but we expect some sort of movement around whether you’re using a specific vendor or not.”
  1. Encryption. “It’s still shocking to me that lots of hospitals don’t have those technologies installed. I suspect that we’ll continue to see adoption of those. But they’re by no means silver bullets.”
  1. Medical Necessity Checking Content. Medical necessity relates to activities which may be justified as reasonable, necessary, and/or appropriate, based on evidence-based clinical standards of care.  “We think there’s still a lot of growth there. It’s really about making sure the hospital is going to get paid for the procedure prior to doing it. I expect growth there to continue. It still surprises me that a lot of hospitals do these procedures with the hope of getting paid as a strategy.”
  1. Nurse Communication System. “Nurses are, for most hospitals, the majority of employees,” said Schuchardt. Making sure they’re in the right places and doing the right things and taking care of patients at the right moment is going to continue to be important as nurses will continue to be the primary caregivers in the hospital.”
  1. Infection Surveillance System. “This is about what it sounds,” said Schuchardt. “Working on reducing hospital-acquired infections, managing and monitoring that better. It’s part of the CMS (quality) scores and they’re doing a better job monitoring that, making sure the taxpayers aren’t paying for HAIs. Monitoring that will continue to be important on an ongoing basis, as there are more and more people hired for that role.”
  1. Firewall. “It’s still shocking to me that lots of hospitals don’t have those technologies installed. I suspect that we’ll continue to see adoption of those. But they’re by no means silver bullets.”
  1. Spam/Spyware Filter. “It’s still shocking to me that lots of hospitals don’t have those technologies installed. I suspect that we’ll continue to see adoption of those. But they’re by no means silver bullets.”
  1. Specimen Collection Management System. “These are really for advanced laboratory systems – managing how things are transfused, whether blood or even breast milk, and then labeling these things from a specimen management perspective: Making sure that thing are being barcoded when the phlebotomist takes it, and those barcodes are being tracked throughout the hospital, making sure you’re testing the right specimens and running the right tests,” said Schuchardt.
  1. Transfusion Management System. “These are really for advanced laboratory systems – managing how things are transfused, whether blood or even breast milk, and then labeling these things from a specimen management perspective: Making sure that thing are being barcoded when the phlebotomist takes it, and those barcodes are being tracked throughout the hospital, making sure you’re testing the right specimens and running the right tests,” said Schuchardt.
  1. Radiology 3D Image/Display. “As imaging capabilities increase, being able to see those images gets more and more complicated,” said Schuchardt. These days, after all, a three-dimensional mammogram is can be as large as a terabyte or more. “As these images get more discrete, the volume and size of those images grows pretty rapidly,” he said. “Being able to manipulate a giant 3D model like that requires special monitors, special software to make sense of it.”

Next week will be part two of this technology spotlight, looking at the second tier of hospitals’ predicted 2017 buying activity.  (Go here for more research from HIMSS Analytics or Healthcare IT News.)

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Contact ABISA for healthcare consultancy support or speaking engagements.

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