22 May Healthcare IT market continues strong growth
For many medical systems today, engaging in successful IT planning means developing a strategy for deploying electronic health records. Without these systems, in many cases it is no longer possible to give patients the level of care they expect and need. After all, as the use of electronic document management systems becomes more popular and widely accepted, the public is adjusting its perceptions of what it means to receive adequate care. In order for hospitals to position themselves at the forefront of their field, integrating cutting-edge solutions is a must.
According to a recent study from MarketsandMarkets, the demand for healthcare IT is unlikely to slow down anytime soon. The research firm found that the global market for these technologies is slated to reach $56.7 billion by 2017, accelerating at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7 percent.
The United States is projected to command some of the highest shares of this market, thanks in no small part to the involvement of the government, which spent $32 billion on electronic health records in 2012 alone. The source explained that offers of incentives and threats of penalties have proven to be strong motivation for medical care providers to update their record keeping methods. For example, in 2011, approximately 176,000 physicians registered for the government's Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs, resulting in $2.5 billion that were dispersed to qualifying practices.
However, despite the significant investments that have already occurred, some experts worry that American legislators will pull back on healthcare IT initiatives in the name of saving money. iHealthBeat noted that Congress should be careful as it considers reducing spending tied to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), especially because these cuts may not be as productive as they initially appear. The news provider noted that allocating funds toward improving technologies in medical systems boosts patient outcomes, which is valuable in the long run.
The news source explained that there are a few major benefits to implementing more advanced IT systems in healthcare. For instance, since some tools can automatically check for potentially dangerous drug interactions, it is more difficult for doctors to accidentally prescribe drugs that could put a person's wellbeing at risk. Through alerts, public health officials are also able to quickly clue in to disease outbreaks and other problems, allowing them to mitigate the potential effects. Additionally, the source stressed, electronic health records provide opportunities for patients to become more involved in their own care, thereby improving their wellbeing.
Overall, these improvements to patient care do have budgetary significance, iHealthBeat pointed out. As medical professionals are empowered to do their jobs better, they can play an active role in reducing the occurrence of re-admissions. The need for individuals to return to the hospital for even more treatment is costly for healthcare organizations, and digitized records reduce the chances that this will happen. While it is difficult to calculate these savings, many professionals are confident they will materialize.
There are many reasons that healthcare IT is important in today's medical field. As medical professionals continue to push for improvements, the benefits will likely only become clearer.