I recently attended the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) annual conference in Indianapolis. I had the honor of presenting Iatric Systems thoughts on how to increase HIE utilization with our very disruptive FlexButtonTM technology.
Without conjuring up dramatic images of a zombie apocalypse, the healthcare IT industry finds itself in yet another unprecedented time period. In this post-EHR era (as some call it) we have largely achieved the goal of digitizing health records. According to adoption statistics at health.gov, 96% of hospitals had certified EHR technology by the end of 2015. Since the implementation frenzy first brought about by Meaningful Use, EHR sales have slowed down — apart from the steady change fueled by the ongoing consolidation of hospital systems.
Some come to Dallas to hear the Texas blues, enjoy prime steaks, ride a mechanical bull, or maybe even catch some baseball. This year, however, Iatric Systems is coming to Dallas to "Connect the Dots” at the 2017 International MUSE Conference. Many of you will attend MUSE to learn how you can streamline your workflows and better connect your MEDITECH systems. We will be there to connect with you!
We all need to recharge our internal batteries now and then. To recharge, some climb Mt. Everest in their personal time, some take vacations. For me, it’s making music — singing, writing, playing. Last year, just for fun, I released a Daughtry parody song espousing the virtues of telehealth called “Staying Home.”
From the late 1970s thru the 1990s, MEDITECH was a technology leader in supplying hospital information systems. Your expertise resulted in many community hospitals being able to install more integrated systems than many of the so-called big teaching hospitals. MEDITECH’s unique MAGIC operating systems and language enabled the delivery of fast, reliable, and economical solutions.
About 10 years ago, with the delivery of the 6.X solution, things began to change. When clients were faced with installing a completely new software system, many decided to explore their options. Also at this time, vendors like Epic disrupted the standard by better integrating the physician offices into the hospital-based solution. Hardware costs continued to decline which made other systems more economical. Consequently, the perception began to build that MEDITECH was beginning to fall behind the times and was resting on its past accomplishments.
As I write this, the new administration is a little more than two weeks into its term, and many are rightly wondering what the impact will be across the industry as new leaders in key policymaking positions are taking aim at the Affordable Care Act. Uncertainty is once again in the air. Strategic plans are back on the table. What then are we to do as we wait to see what changes may come? One suggestion is to take a deep collective breath and focus our attention on those things that we know will not be changing under any scenario. Regardless of which administration is currently calling the shots, those of us who have made a career in the health care IT industry understand there is always much work to do apart from any new or modified regulations.
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.
IBM’s CEO, Ginni Rometty once said, “never love something so much that you can’t let go of it.” Setting the business world aside for a moment, I’ll admit this has not always been my greatest strength.
“I’ve read HIStalk, listened to Blumenthal. Will we get incentives, or nothing at all?” are just a few lyrics from the HITECH Train (Crazy Train parody) song written back in early 2011. If you missed it back then, here's a link to our video. And since it's been five years since the song was written, I’m guessing there may be a few of you asking, “Who is Blumenthal?” Excellent question.
Beth Israel Deaconess Healthcare CIO, Dr. John Halamka, recently spoke in an interview with Jonathan Bush about Meaningful Use having accomplished its initial purpose and offered his thoughts on how we get back to innovation. He said, “It got us to adoption. We moved from paper to electronic to basic electronic functionality that is good enough. But now it’s time to let loose the market for innovation.” I’ll just say what everyone else is probably thinking ... amen!