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Healthcare IT Trends to Watch, Week of April 16- 20, 2012

Each day at Schwartz MSL, the Healthcare IT Practice shares news items on the latest industry trends, news, insights and events. There is never a lack of opinion or reporting on such topics as patient engagement, mHealth, ACOs, EHRs, Patient Centered Medical Homes or the latest market stats, and we enjoy learning the differing perspectives of the industry’s influencers in the trades, business press and blog-o-sphere. Here are some recent highlights:

This week, we see articles about the impact of technology on people. Pamela Lewis Donlan wrote a piece in American Medical News titled, “Search is on to cure EHR alert fatigue.” She says that as researchers and health care organizations work to alleviate EHR alert fatigue, it’s clear that the answer is to create systems that take human behavior and supplemental patient data into account when writing rules that decide when and why an alert is fired off.

Ken Terry continues with his patient-centered care article in FierceHealthIT called “Patient-centered care requires more than online technologies.” Within the credo of patient-centered care, patients must be able to obtain copies of their medical records and visit summaries; they should have personal health records that they can share with their providers; they should have patient-centered medical homes; they should share in medical decision making; and, of course, the security and privacy of their personal health information must be rigorously protected.

The annual Thomson Reuters’ Top 100 US Hospitals awards revealed that hospitals listed there have more advanced levels of electronic health record adoption compared with the overall pool of U.S. hospitals, according to a report by HIMSS Analytics.

Rachel Fields at Becker’s ASC Review cited another report by Health Imaging, which states that the percentage of physicians using electronic medical records has doubled over the past two years, according to Doug Fridsma, MD, director of the Office of Standards and Interoperability of the Office of the National Coordinator.

InformationWeek-Healthcares Paul Cerrato discussed a recent case report from doctors at Stanford University School of Medicine which illustrates just what disruptive technologies are capable of in his piece, “Clinicians Need Unconventional IT Tools for Toughest Cases.”

Interested in the who’s who of ACOs? Read “60 Accountable Care Organizations to Know” in Becker’s Hospital Review by Molly Gamble. She says that ACOs have proliferated in the past three years, spurred by private payers’ interest in coordinated care management and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which introduced the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

Nicole Lewis of InformationWeek- Healthcare reports on a study from CSC Global Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices called, "Transforming Healthcare through Better Use of Data.” It concludes that during the next five years, healthcare delivery organizations will either gain a competitive advantage or lose ground based on their ability to make the best use of their data.

On the mobile side, Brian Dolan wrote a piece in titled, “Global mobile health market worth $8B by 2018,” based on a recent report from Global Data, which  pegged the global mHealth market as having a $500 million value in 2010 that will top $8 billion by 2018.

And like any other technology, medical devices, such as MRI machines and insulin pumps, are increasingly the victim of hacking, malware and other cybercrimes. A security breach of a medical device can also adversely affect patient safety, as well as the operation of the device, causing it to malfunction, fail outright or alter the data, reports Marla Durben Hirsch in FierceEMR.

Pamela Lewis Dolan also researched meaningful use this week. Her article “More physicians awarded meaningful use money” says that for the first time, physicians and other health professionals received more cash in Medicare meaningful use bonuses than hospitals got in a single month. However, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission data show that the vast majority of physicians have yet to collect a dime of government incentives for their use of electronic health records.

The healthcare IT market today is booming, spurred on by an injection of venture capital funding. PharmaBiz published an article based on a report on funding and mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity for healthcare IT sector for the first quarter of 2012 by Mercom Capital Group, llc. It states that that VC funding in the healthcare IT sector for in Q1 2012 was $184 million in 27 deals, the highest number of deals ever recorded.

If you would like to speak with a Schwartz MSL representation to learn more about how we can help you promote your company in the context of the industry’s news, please contact Doug Russell at or 781-684-0770.

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Davida Dinerman

Davida Dinerman

Account Director at MSLGROUP

A member of MSLGROUP since 1996, Davida has been entrenched in the agency’s healthcare IT and tech practice groups. She earned her MBA from Babson College and her BA degree from Dartmouth College.

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