Reviewing 5 Predictions for Reshaping Health IT In 2013

May 2, 2013 10:38:00 AM · by Ashley Wetmore

Last August Paul Cerrato, Editor of InformationWeek Healthcare, wrote an article entitled “5 Trends Will Reshape Health IT in 2013.” Nearly a year later, we can take a look at those predictions and see where the beginning of 2013 has brought us. 

Mobile Health

Has mobile health continued to rise over the past nine months? Cerrato pointed out the growth of iPads and tablet devices used within healthcare organizations.

“Docs are in love with their iPads, and for good reason. When IT teams were asked, ‘Which mobile computing devices are doctors in your organization using for medical purposes’ in InformationWeek Healthcare’s 2012 Priorities Survey, 66% cited iPads or other tablets, up from 45% just a year earlier. This love affair continues to develop because tablets give them access to EHR data, drug reference materials, and a host of valuable data that in the past was only available in the office or hospital. That kind of access should improve patient outcomes.”

According to FierceMobileHealthcare, “ . . . the rate of tablet adoption among doctors has jumped to 72 percent, according to the latest Taking the Pulse report from Manhattan Research, as reported by mHealthWatch.”

“Seventy-two percent of physicians own a tablet, but they’re not all using it the same way, according to Meredith Ressi, president of Manhattan Research.”

Personal Health Records

In his original article, Cerrato shares that PHRs are having a hard time sticking, but that over the year they would gain interest.

“I suspect so-called ‘interactive PHRs’ will catch on in 2013. These digital tools link personal health records to electronic health records.”

Last week Kyle Murphy, PhD wrote an article for EHR Intelligence in which he stated, “A compelling presentation about the secure exchange of radiological imaging in the cloud from last week’s Information Management Network (IMN) Hospital Cloud Forum included insightful commentary into how personal health records (PHRs) could potentially minimize healthcare disparities.”



American Well was looking to take their telehealth functionality nationwide by January 2013.

“Several large healthcare systems have established relationships with telemed companies. American Well, for instance, recently teamed up with Tampa-based University of Southern Florida Health to provide telehealth services to residents of The Villages, a large retirement community northwest of Orlando. The company has also partnered with Allscripts to integrate telehealth functionality into patients’ EHRs. The system is being piloted at USF Health, and the EHR vendor plans to expand it to selected customers nationwide in January 2013.”

In April they announced another pilot to be conducted in Massachusetts.

“American Well® today announced a three-pronged telehealth pilot program at Massachusetts General Hospital (Mass General). This program is designed to bring healthcare services to current patients in Massachusetts, focusing first on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Heart Failure and Neurology, by making physicians available to patients through live, real-time video visits.”


EHR vendor shakeout

From the 600 certified EHR systems in business last year, has there been a decrease in vendors? Has the quality of their products increased? 

“At a recent InformationWeek Healthcare Virtual Event, Mark Wagner, senior research director at KLAS, explained that EHR vendors are so busy selling systems that they barely have time to support the ones they’ve installed, much less create a platform that meets all of a provider’s needs. That kind of over-commitment is sure to build resentment and a bad reputation among hospitals and practices with little or no internal IT support staff. The resulting winnowing process may put some EHR vendors out of business, but the surviving companies will likely offer services that ultimately improve patient care.”

In a press release April 25, 2013, Dr. Mostashari demonstrates the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ commitment to ensuring the quality of HER vendors.

“We and our certification bodies take complaints and our follow-up seriously. By revoking the certification of these EHR products, we are making sure that certified electronic health record products meet the requirements to protect patients and providers,” said Dr. Mostashari. “Because EHRMagic was unable to show that their EHR products met ONC’s certification requirements, their EHRs will no longer be certified under the ONC HIT Certification Program.”

Clinical Analytics

Have we seen the increase in demand for this market?

“Close to half of providers expect to add technical analysts in the next two years, while 35% will hire additional clinical informaticists, according to the survey. Some 70% of insurance companies will boost staffing on the technical side of clinical analytics and 30% will add informaticists.”

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