1 myth, 2 truths and 5 hot trends in health IT for 2016 | Sanjeev Agrawal

By Sanjeev Agrawal at Healthcare IT News

There is a floating myth out there that healthcare providers are unwilling to adopt new technology. It’s just not true. In the last few months, I have spoken to dozens of healthcare leaders at hospitals small and large, and I am amazed at their willingness to understand and adopt technology.

Pretty much every hospital CEO, COO, CMIO or CIO I talk to believes two things:

They have to do more with less. With growing demand, rising costs and constrained supply, healthcare is facing a looming crisis unless providers figure out how to “do more with less.”

Technology is a key enabler. The technology is out there to help save more lives, deliver better care, reduce costs and achieve a healthier America. If a technology solution solves a real problem and has a clearly articulated ROI, healthcare isn’t that different from any other industry and is willing to adopt it.

Given my conversations, here are the five biggest IT trends I see in healthcare going forward:

1. Consumerization of the EHR. Love it or hate it, the EHR sits at the center of innovation. Since the passage of the HITECH Act in 2009 – a $30 billion effort to transform healthcare delivery through the widespread use of EHRs – the “next generation” EHR is becoming a reality driven by three factors:

Providers feeling the pressure to find innovative ways to cut costs and bring more efficiency to healthcare delivery
The explosion of “machine generated” healthcare data from mobile apps, wearables and sensors
The “operating terminal” shifting from a desktop to a smartphone/tablet, forcing providers to reimagine how patient care data is produced and consumed
The “next generation” EHR will be built around physician workflows and will make it easy for them to produce and consume data. It will, of course, need to have proper controls in place to make sure data can only be accessed by the right people to ensure privacy and safety. I expect more organizations will adopt the “app store” model that Kaiser pioneered so developers can innovate on their open platform.

2. Interoperability. Lack of system interoperability has made it very hard for providers to adopt new technologies such as data mining, machine learning, image recognition, Internet of Things and mobile. This is changing fast:

HHS’s mandate for interoperability in all EHRs by 2024, so patient data can be shared across systems to enable better care at lower cost.
HITECH incentives and the mandate to move 50 percent of Medicare payments from fee-for-service to value-based alternatives by 2018 imply care coordination, and therefore, interoperability will become imperative.
Project Argonaut, an industry-wide effort to create a modern API and data/services sharing between the EHR and other systems using HL7 FHIR, has already made impressive progress.
More than 60 percent of the proposed Stage 3 meaningful use rules require interoperability, up from 33 percent in Stage 2.
3. Mobile. With more than 50 percent of patients using their smartphone to monitor health and more than 50 percent of physicians using or wanting to use their smartphone to monitor patient health – and seamless data sharing on its way –the way care is delivered will truly change.

Read the full Healthcare IT News post by Sanjeev here http://www.healthcareitnews.com/blog/1-myth-2-truths-and-5-hot-trends-health-it-2016

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