Top 11 Healthcare ITTrends for 2011GE Healthcare and eHealth InitiativeAs 2010 comes to a close, we decided to break from the frenetic end-of-year activityand consider the major Health IT issues that will shape the coming 12 months. We werefortunate to tap in to the expertise of a number of industry thought-leaders to help usuncover, focus and prioritize the myriad of issues confronting the industry. Rather thana traditional end of year Top 10 list, it seems appropriate to have a Top 11 for ‟11.Our goal for this list is not about proving to be effective prognosticators. Rather, we hope toprovoke some thoughtful contemplation, engaging discussions and, perhaps, impart a littleperspective on what will undoubtedly be a year of great change and transformation inhealthcare.Earl Jones,VP and General ManagereHealth Solutions, GE Healthcare ITJennifer Covich,CEOeHealth Initiative
1. Reimbursements in the Healthcare 3. Nature of Competition will shift to QualitySector Drop and PerformanceThe most significant issue expected in 2011 is the downward The discussion surrounding incentives being tied topressure on reimbursements for healthcare organizations. healthcare outcomes and pay-for-performance grewRegardless of the outcomes in Washington around the steadily throughout 2010. In 2011, we should experience aimplementation of health reform, the continued rise in the continued maturation of these concepts, with an associatedcost of healthcare is unsustainable for our society. Both the shift in the way healthcare organizations compete. Thesepublic and private sectors will take measures to slow the organizations will focus on quality and performance as arate of cost escalation. vehicle to attract patients and a means to get paid based upon the value of, rather than on the quantity of, servicesMany of the next ten trends stem directly from these lower delivered.reimbursement expectations or the implementation ofprograms driving pay-for-performance, bundled payments The Health IT modernization initiative driven by the Office ofacross acute inpatient and post-acute care, and other National Coordinator and CMS‟s associated Meaningful Useprograms that will result in less revenue for the healthcare criteria are thematically aligned and enable this trend.organizations. Cost cutting will be necessary, but it won‟t be Meaningful Use – and its attendant stages of maturity –enough. incents the use of information technology to enhance information transparency, improve quality and outcomes,Organizations will need to transform all aspects of care and enhance patient engagement and experience.delivery – optimizing processes, reducing waste, andimproving quality and performance. Health IT will become 4. The Concept and Practice ofincreasingly strategic as organizations drive for increased Accountable Care will Begin to Take Shapeinformation transparency, improved analytics and decision- Most healthcare professionals agree that Accountable Caresupport, and care team collaboration. Organizations (ACOs) should help enable care teams to2. Healthcare CIOs are in the Crucible improve quality and reduce costs by better aligning incentives with clinical outcomes. Beyond this broad intent,The sheer volume of strategic changes confronting we are a long way from understanding exactly what ACOshealthcare CIOs is a trend all unto itself – putting the CIO are and how they will work. While the Patient Protection andsquarely in the crucible in 2011. During the course of the Affordability Act calls for the formation of ACOs it does notyear, in addition to keeping current systems running, spell out performance measures, benchmarks, or howhealthcare CIOs will have to: savings will be quantified and distributed.1. Position for HIPPA 4010 to 5010 (due January 1, 2012) Today, there are several pilots such as the work being done2. Prepare for ICD-10 (due October 1, 2013) in Vermont, at Piedmont Physicians (Ga.), with a group selected by Dartmouth-Brookings, and others. These initial3. Decide and execute on Meaningful Use roadmaps and strategies for electronic health records and health pilots and others will help bring needed clarity to this information exchange important initiative in 2011.4. Manage the explosion of mobile devices in healthcare In addition, in 2011, CMS will propose and finalize ACO regulations that will further clarify the definitions and5. Develop strategies and infrastructure for Accountable Care understanding around the ACO opportunity. Moreover, interoperability, clinical integration, and analytics will beginAs one hospital CIO put it, “Those without the ability to providing the baselines and evidence upon which incentiveprioritize quickly will be in deep trouble.” payments will be based.
5. The „Industrialization‟ of Healthcare Gains 8. Demand for Talented Healthcare LeadersNew Momentum Becomes AcuteThe downward pressure on healthcare reimbursements, With the volume and impact of the changes shapingcombined with the potential influx of the previously healthcare in 2011, perhaps the most constrained resourceuninsured, places renewed emphasis on the industrialization in Healthcare is leadership talent – particularly at the earlyof healthcare as a vehicle to lower cost and improve quality. to mid-career levels for IT professionals and change agents.Though it is at risk of attaining “buzzword” status, More than ever healthcare organizations need their non-„industrialization,‟ at its core, means having predictable, medical healthcare professionals to have a confluence ofreliable processes that can be consistently replicated and skills: deep technical domain, strong business acumen, andimproved upon. an ability to drive change. Healthcare organizations will need effective recruiting pipelines and leadershipPredictable reliable processes reduce variation, improve development programs to meet the challenges facing themcycle-time, eliminate waste and defects and improve overall in 2011 and beyond.quality. Process re-engineering, Lean Six Sigma, and ChangeManagement protocols will play important roles in driving 9. Meaningful Use Timing Surpriseshealthcare industrialization in 2011. Providers6. Volume and Diversity of Mobility Solutions Providers who have not paid attention to the details behindExplode for Providers Meaningful Use are in for a surprise in 2011. The MU bar in 2011 is comparatively low. To qualify, providers must attestMobility solutions that provide secure access to clinical to 90 continuous days of meaningful use. Practicallyintelligence are a boon to medical professionals – speaking, this means eligible providers must begin using astreamlining workflows while providing timely alerts and certified EMR no later than October 1st 2011 to apply for afeedback. In healthcare, 2010 was clearly the year of the meaningful use reimbursement in January. Those missingiPad and mobile applications. 2011 will see an explosion in the October “go-live” will be subject to the somewhat higherthe volume and diversity of mobility solutions as new 2012 hurdle, requiring 12 continuous months of meaningfuldevices, carriers and operating systems hit the market. use. The practical effect of delaying EMR adoption is thatProvisioning for and securing these devices within a eligibility for meaningful use reimbursement will push out athealthcare organization will stretch already thin IT least 12 months.resources.7. Patient Engagement through Digital 10. Image Exchange will be a Value AddedChannels Reaches a Tipping Point Service for HIE The health information exchange (HIE) market will continueHealthcare providers generally agree that among the many to evolve over the next year. Enterprise, regional, state, andthings needed to transform healthcare, empowering multi-state HIEs will develop value-add services, such aspatients to become more informed and engaged is a must. image exchange, in order to be sustainable.Without question, informed and engaged patients demandvalue and performance from their healthcare system, which In 2011, the US market will begin to catch up to Canada andcreates healthy and positive market pressure. More Europe in the adoption of image exchange. Medical imageimportantly, however, informed and engaged patients better sharing improves care by enhancing online patient reviewmanage their own health – with a particular focus on overall capabilities among multi-disciplinary teams across multiplewellness, prevention, and care management. Patient locations and reducing costs and inefficiencies caused byengagement remains low today but there‟s cause for hope. using physical media like CDs and film to share images.The confluence of the national dialogue on healthcare, the Using standards-based protocols for image exchange onMeaningful Use criteria that incent providers toward patient existing HIE infrastructure improves interoperability andengagement, and the variety and maturation of digital extensibility of image exchange solutions.patient engagement tools now available – from smartdevices, to patient portals - should mark 2011 as a tippingpoint year for patient engagement.