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February 27, 2012

Healthcare IT has come a long way PART I

You may recall the Economist (2003) characterized healthcare as lagging behind other industries by 10 - 15 years as it pertains to adopting Information Technologies. A lot has happened in the 9 years since. We have over 400 EMR-EHR products vying for customer share, and yes, some even have mobility apps (consolidations in the offing? Yes, it will make matters more difficult, read on). The large multi-hospital systems are adopting at a faster clip than the 80% or so SMBs. What is clear, however, is that in the BI space, they're very much lacking. Yes, even the larger vendors. The question is, how will ARRA-HITECH meaningful use (MU) get sorted out without evidence based medicine? Well, it's possible vendor catch-up could occur now that tougher aspects of MU have been delayed (stage II by 2014). Vendors participating in 2011/2012 will still need to measure up to stage 1 though.
Is BI (by any name) necessarily different from one industry to the next? In the case of healthcare, I believe that to be the case. From the healthcare standpoint, knowing service measures (KPI), melding clinical and business insights, patterning data after aggregation (which data?, do HIE's need that?, has the data been deidentified?, security concerns etc...) requires crucial understanding of the healthcare business. Certainly there are silo'd applications still (e.g. GE Centricity Perioperative for OR, McKesson, Lawson, etc...). after all, even in "integrated" environments like Epic (Clarity), hospitals are in stages of migration. This is a hold over from "best of breed" to users asking for integrated systems (data standardization, terminology, implement 'certified' EHR, Project Management (PMO), know key stakeholder strategic objectives, ...) and it will take some time to get sorted out. And it gets more complicated each day. For instance, mixing in device data, building clinical and research data repositories, etc... If one's not able to determine validity of the data (so called "one truth", it's evidence!), how can one use it in decision making, in a healthcare setting at that! Those of you who have worked ERPs and BI with endless streams of changes to applications have a taste of MUs interaction with healthcare IT and BI. Sure, it's truly a daunting task, but we must stand up to the challenge.
Well, this is a potpourri of sorts and not meaning to traverse so many branches but I'll bring it more in focus in Part II.

Posted by MichaelAndom MBA at 1:45 PM | Comments (812)