Patient Safety, HIPAA Compliance Will Drive Health Care IT Over Next Five Years, Forecast Says
The increased use of computerized physician order entry systems to prevent medical errors, the development of HIPAA-compliant information systems and the need for greater spending to upgrade information technology will top the list of concerns for health care information technology professionals over the next five years, according to a new Healthcare Information and Management System Society study released yesterday. The five-year forecast, sponsored by Superior Consultant Company, was based on a national survey of HIMSS members and health care professionals, as well as industry research and "expert opinion." The forecast's findings include:
- Widespread concern about patient safety will prompt a majority of hospitals to install computerized physician order entry systems to reduce medication errors.
- Making information systems compliant with HIPAA regulations will become the first IT priority for providers. Such compliance will take at least five years.
- Capital spending on IT will rise, with providers spending more on clinical applications than business applications.
- Up to 33% of hospitals may outsource the management of their information systems.
- Medicare and the majority of health plans will reimburse the costs of telemedicine, which will be widely used by physicians, hospitals and people who are chronically ill (HIMSS release, 12/6).
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