According to recent research published by MarketsandMarkets, the Healthcare Business Intelligence (BI) market is slated to grow to a $4.7 billion industry by the time 2018 rolls around. Why should you care about this, whether you’re in Health IT or simply a concerned consumer (and future patient)? “Healthcare BI” includes making the healthcare community mobile, embracing cloud technology, and streamlining hospital admin technology and processes. In other words, it can make entire healthcare systems cheaper, more accessible and flexible. It will also be easier to achieve funding and financial assistance for healthcare systems. However, the “can” in that statement is a big one.
Utilizing Healthcare IT which can help improve communication between providers themselves, providers and patients, and the system as a whole is a necessity nobody can argue against. However, doing so wisely and at the right pace is crucial to avoid mistakes. Right now there’s a huge shift in how the administrative side of healthcare systems operate with changes to ICD-10 trying to make things simpler and cloud technology getting accepted in a number of centers.
Put your money where your mouth is
The big players in amping up Healthcare BI include IBM, Information Builders, Microsoft, Oracle, SAS Institute and Tata Consultancy Services to name just a few. In other words, there are massive technology companies behind this endeavor, and they’re not all necessarily playing nicely. Too many choices for healthcare administrations can be dangerous, leading to impasses (such as the entire iTunes/iPod vs. every other music player problem). How can you decide which Health IT software or technology is best for you?
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Even worse, a surge of staying ahead of the competition has already begun. In order to stay competitive, tech companies have to come out with new devices, upgrades and updates at lightning speed. Of course, speed can often equal oversights, bugs in the system and big faux pas. There’s no room for that in Healthcare IT when HIPAA laws need to be followed and highly sensitive information is at stake. If you’re in the position of upgrading a clinic or hospital’s Healthcare IT, carefully calculate your next move.
Don’t get pushed around
Take your time, do your research and don’t feel bullied into adopting the latest technology just because “everyone else is doing it.” It’s better to adopt the wait and see approach while still abiding by legal changes such as ICD updates. Learn from the lessons of others, wait until technology has gone beyond beta testing, and spend your tech dollars wisely. Put yourself in the shoes of your patients and consider what’s going to be best for them in the long haul.
Technology, including Healthcare IT, is supposed to make your life easier, help you stay organized and lessen mistakes. However, there’s always a learning curve (for early adopters and tech companies alike). You don’t want to be the guinea pig or invest thousands of dollars into a system or software that hasn’t proven itself yet. If anything can be learned from the failed launch of Healthcare.gov, it’s that racing to make an arbitrary deadline can set you back, and neither you nor your patients deserve that.