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Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:00 PM

2017: What Lies Ahead for Healthcare IT?

Written by Frank Fortner, President and COO of Iatric Systems

We are currently three days away from the changing of the guard in Washington. Many are pondering, prognosticating, and pontificating on what that will ultimately mean for our country and to the healthcare industry. People are wondering if the Affordable Care Act will indeed be repealed and replaced and, if so, in part or in full? There are so many questions around the impact on the insured and uninsured, the financial impact on hospitals, physicians, ACOs, the industry at large. What about the long journey to value-based care? Will its momentum fizzle, stall, or keep moving forward? And of course, what will the impact be on software vendors and service organizations in the healthcare industry? I’m only scratching the surface, but you get the point. For at least a few more days/weeks/months, what lies ahead is uncertainty, and there is one thing we know about human nature; uncertainty is rarely a welcome guest.

At the same time, here’s what we do know.

  • HIPAA is still in effect and will remain so.
  • Cyber criminals will continue their activity regardless of who sits in the oval office.
  • Business partners of covered entities will continue to pose a security risk that will need to be managed.
  • Sadly, certain people will view PHI who should not be doing so. 
  • Information systems will continue to search for the elusive semantic interoperability
  • Clinical workflows will need efficiency improvements.
  • Providers will need help mining, managing, and making sense of their data. 
  • Patients still won’t be all that engaged.
  • The Patriots will have another winning season. 
  • EHRs will need further optimizing.
  • The cloud will continue to increase in popularity as a cost-effective environment to implement and operationalize software solutions.
  • While we should see a drop in the number of larger purchases (e.g. EHRs), many provider organizations, often understaffed and operating on limited budgets for the servicing of unlimited wants, will look to add value through targeted solutions that enhance their IT investment. 

Therefore, I can confidently predict that Iatric Systems will be among those delivering many products and services that will optimize EHRsmonitor patient privacy; help manage vendor risk; ensure data is available to the folks that need it — when they need it; help providers make sense of various data; increase patient safetyimprove workflowsaugment staffs that need expert help — and more!

Taking the focus off of Washington for just a moment, what lies ahead is a very busy year for Healthcare IT.