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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Jan 1 2013   10:35AM GMT

Health IT 2012 summary

Posted by: RedaChouffani
BIG DATA, Meaningful use, mhealth, RFID, RTLS, telemedicine

We are saying goodbye to the year 2012 and welcoming 2013. There are certainly few subjects that occupied the collective minds’ of health organizations in 2012 and some of which will continue to be around in the new year. Here is a short list of subjects that dominated the health IT arena:

EHR implementations: For many hospitals it has been a year full of EHR implementations within their facilities. Some either focused on deploying their EHR systems to their affiliated physician’s groups, while others have gone live with it within their ER, and other departments. This has proven to be a rewarding experience, despite its high cost and complexity.

Big data was another subject that was frequently discussed during 2012. We will continue to see increasing interest in this area due to some of the impressive new computing capabilities, and availability of storage and analytic tools. Big data received more attention in health care because it holds great potential to be a valuable assisting tool to physicians.

Some consider the combination of big data and machine learning as the new front for artificial intelligence (AI) that will someday enable physicians to be assisted during the diagnosis with this technology. The systems must mature and have access to good data in order to fulfill that goal.

Last year was also marked by the delay of ICD-10 deadlines.  The announcement was made by HHS to provided additional time to test and prepare their systems for the new deadline of October 2014. Last year also saw the release of meaningful use stage 2 requirements and the draft for meaningful use stage 3.

The data breaches that some hospitals and health care organizations faced were prominent during 2012. Many organizations continue to adopt new security measures as they move toward EHRs. It’s just as important to secure employees’ mobile devices by educating them about their organization’s bring your own device initiatives and social media policies in order to avoid a data breach.

More hospitals have actively solicited real-time locating system (RTLS) vendors to identity the potential benefits they can gain from those systems. The use of radio frequency identification (RFID) and RTLS systems has been explored by organizations seeking to improve efficiency and reduce usage of other equipment. This comes at a time where more RTLS vendors are available in the market and competition is driving solutions prices down as well as innovation in the Tags and reduced hardware costs.

The topic of mHealth has been receiving growing interest from the health care industry. The increased adoption of mobile devices and the need to have connected patients connected to their care providers continued to push for more mHealth development. Interest from clinicians, IT departments, as well patients has driven this increase.

For the New Year 2013 we will certainly see more emphasis on big data and analytics, mHealth, cloud storage, meaningful use, telemedicine, RTLS.  There are other areas that will continue to concern health care in general including policy changes and reimbursement cuts as which can force changes to budgets and initiative prioritization for health care organizations.

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