2017 Second 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.  This post is the second-part summation of their findings.  Last week we looked at the top ten IT initiatives and today we will look at the second tier initiatives.  (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. Asset Tracking/Management. “This is really an IT function: Tracking the certificates on your Windows machines, is everything up-to-date, are all your updates in place, are you tracking the depreciation of your servers and things like that? Certainly, as you get more tablets and things like that, tracking where they are and that they’re secure is going to be important.”
  1. Population Health Management. This is the aggregation of patient data across multiple health information technology resources, the analysis of that data into a single, actionable patient record, and the actions through which care providers can improve both clinical and financial outcomes.  “About 1,200 hospitals currently have a population health management system in place,” said Schuchardt. “We expect that to grow. If you look at the top 10 vendors for population health right now, two of them are EMR vendors, but they’ve got about 40 percent of the installs. The majority of vendors that hospitals have engaged with are slide plays into population health – I think only about 20 percent of the market right now are purpose built population health vendors.”
  1. Laboratory – Outreach Services. “This is making sure people are getting the tests that they need,” said Schuchardt. “You see the see the TV ads for biologics all the time that may cause liver damage: Are these people coming back in and having their levels checked on their liver while they’re taking them? This technology manages the process – making sure people are being notified of the results, notified for follow-up work, and things like that.”
  1. Bed Management. “The value of beds, the types of patients who are in those beds, are you getting the most of them, what’s your census rate like, what’s your average number of patients to a bed. We suspect that, like all other BI and analytics tools, we’ll continue to see growth.”
  1. Data Warehousing/Mining. A lot of hospitals have data warehousing capabilities, but they’re often “some sort of cobbled-together, self-developed system,” said Schuchardt. “We expect there to be growth there. More and more organizations are looking to turn their data into an asset. Having the data is one thing, using it effectively is an entirely different animal. And I think organizations are beginning to grapple with those concerns.”
  1. Anesthesia Information Management System. “If you think about where risk is, hospitals really focus around surgery,” said Schuchardt. “Making sure they’re monitoring anesthesia is really important: It’s the most dangerous part of any hospital stay, other than staph infections. Hospitals are looking at that, and you can see the current adoption rate is under 2,000, but we expect that to grow pretty substantially.”
  1. Telemedicine. Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technology to provide clinical health care from a distance. It helps eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to medical services that would often not be consistently available in distant rural communities.  “Voice over Internet, telemedicine, nurse communication – all of these sort of connect together,” said Schuchardt. “If you think about organizations sharing data among themselves, you need to then think about how do they share data even internally? How is the nurse getting the right order, how are patients being routed? Those things will be more important in the post-EMR world as organizations look to better understand patient throughput and outcomes, and communicating what’s going on internally and externally.”
  1. VOIP. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line.  “Voice over Internet, telemedicine, nurse communication – all of these sort of connect together,” said Schuchardt. “If you think about organizations sharing data among themselves, you need to then think about how do they share data even internally? How is the nurse getting the right order, how are patients being routed? Those things will be more important in the post-EMR world as organizations look to better understand patient throughput and outcomes, and communicating what’s going on internally and externally.”
  1. Storage: Vendor Neutral Archive. “There’s a lot of vendors in this space who have re-branded their archive as vendor-neutral because it’s a hot-button topic,” said Schuchardt. “But is that actually vendor-neutral? That’s a question hospitals should be asking their vendors before they buy. Is it going to let me exchange data between Philips and GE? Or is it just your old product with a new name? It’s making the data move from your PACS system into your EMR – if you go to the ER when you break your arm, and then you go to the ortho for follow-up care, can she see the original image very easily, even if she’s not on the hospital EMR, or hospital PACS? It’s the ability to store images from one vendor and then reproduce them in places agnostic to the vendor where they’re being reproduced.”
  1. Cardiology 3D Image/Display. Similar to the radiology display but focused on cardiology, this are “will have less adoption, always, than radiology, as there are a number of hospitals that just don’t offer cardiology services,” he said. “But there’s a similar growth curve with a cap on it, in that not everyone is going to be offering cardiology.”

This concludes our two-part summation of the top twenty HIT hospital initiatives for 2017.  Many thanks to Healthcare IT News and HIMSS Analytics for looking into the technologies most on the radar for 5,461 hospitals across the U.S. in 2017.  (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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