2009 began with a bang for legacy Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendors, promising strong sales and windfall profits on the heels of stimulus package incentive bonuses initially worth more than $19 billion to doctors and hospitals. But things changed dramatically along the way.
Here ten surprises and notable events that have impacted the EHR market:
Payment for Meaningful Use of EHR technology, not for the software and hardware itself.
The idea that using EHR technologies ought to produce improvements in quality of care, better communication with patients, enhanced safety, and better public health reporting — and that these outcomes ought to be monitored and providers held accountable for their achievement — was itself a surprising innovation in 2009. It has to be counted among the best 10 health care ideas to come out of government in the past generation.Continue reading…
In a February 13, 2009 blog post I introduced the idea of Clinical Groupware as a low cost, modular, and cloud computing alternative to traditional electronic health record technology for physicians and medical practices. Central to the concept of Clinical Groupware is IT support for care coordination and continuity, achieved through shared access to personal care plans and point-of-care decision supports. In this post I’d like to put a few more ideas on the table, specifically with respect to the market niche that Clinical Groupware may ultimately fill, including comments by several individuals whose opinions or work may be crucial to the success of Clinical Groupware over the next 1-3 years. (Anything farther out than that is simply dreaming.) Consider this an interim report on an emerging story with an indefinite timeline.
Interest in this topic has been, of course, heightened by the recently passed federal AARA/HITECH, provisions of which will provide incentive payments to physicians of as much as $44,000 over a five year period commencing in 2011, provided that the physicians can demonstrate the “meaningful use” of “certified EHR technology.” It’s always more exciting when there’s real money in the mix. Will Clinical Groupware qualify as “certified EHR technology?” Many physicians and developers are hoping it will. Here’s why.Continue reading…
Is Web-based and networkable, therefore highly scalable and inexpensive to purchase and use;
Provides a ‘unified view’ of a patient from multiple sources of data and information;
Is designed to be used interactively – by providers and patients alike – to coordinate care and create continuity;
Offers evidence-based guidance and coaching, personalized by access to a person’s health data as it changes;
Collects, for analysis and reporting, quality and performance measures as the routine by-product of its normal daily use;
Aims to provide patients and their providers with a collaborative workflow platform for decision support; and
Creates a care plan for each individual and then monitors the progress of each patient and provider in meeting the goals of that plan?
I call this Clinical Groupware. The term captures the basic notion that the primary purpose for using these IT systems is to improve clinical care through communications and coordination involving a team of people, the patient included. And in a manner that fosters accountability in terms of quality and cost.