Mark W. Stevens, Contributing Editor
If John McDaniel appears tired, please forgive him. He’s also behind on returning his e-mails (and don’t even mention the projects piling up at home). John’s life is emblematic of the stretched-thin state many health IT executives find themselves in today – and there doesn’t appear to be any let-up for these busy folks anytime soon. John is Vice President of the HCI Group (HIMSS’16 booth #6832), a global leader in strategic advisory services and EMR implementation, training and support, and he and HCI are riding a wave of worldwide health IT innovation and expansion that has yet to crest.
Surge in domestic health IT growth
In a study recently released by HIMSS Analytics, 18 health technologies poised for significant growth were examined (Health IT News, August 25, 2015). “By now, everyone’s got an EMR. And most providers are also making use of ancillary technologies to help harness patient data toward more efficient care and better outcomes. But many species of health IT are still surprisingly underused in the U.S. hospital market”, says Matt Schuchardt, Director of Market Intelligence Solutions Sales at HIMSS Analytics. “While the EMR market itself is pretty saturated, and usage has really improved since the HITECH Act, the challenge for hospitals and health systems is, now that you have all this data, what do you do with it?” The technologies HIMSS analytics identified, data warehousing alone is poised to achieve an eye-popping 500 percent growth in the coming year in the United States. Explaining the drivers behind such growth, Schuchardt reminded readers that an EMR is a series of components, “with a clinical data repository being the hub of that spoke”. But in its most basic form that only means the data inside that system – “it’s not all of the external data that’s available – pay data, etc. You need all of that to really start doing BI.” That’s a massive amount of data that needs a place to live and a means with which to be fed into clinical and business intelligence platforms. And that’s saying nothing of all the new data sources [such as remote monitoring devices] emerging onto the scene.