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Top Technology Trends in Healthcare – June 2013

The healthcare IT field is rapidly developing and changing. Emerging technology and updated regulations put pressure on healthcare providers and health plans to stay ahead of the curve. Perficient creates a monthly list that explores some of the current topics and issues in health IT. This list examines the most talked about issues and technologies that are currently affecting the industry.

HCBlog Top5 Trends

ACOs and Patient Centered Medical Homes

An ACO is a group of healthcare providers that partner under a payment and delivery reform model that become collectively accountable for the full continuum of care for a population of patients. This reform model ultimately ties reimbursement to quality metrics and reductions in the total cost of care for the patient population. Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) focus on improving the quality of care delivered by creating a health care environment that facilitates communication between the patient and their physician, allowing patients to receive and understand the care they need when they need it.

Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring

The healthcare industry is experiencing revolutionary changes stemming from the rapidly shifting role of the patient within the continuum of care. This is resulting in high demand for easier access to healthcare professionals, access to online medical information, and alternatives to traditional care. Telehealth allows for the transmission of medical images, video, audio and information related to diagnosis and treatment can be stored and sent from the provider’s computer or mobile device via secure data exchanges. Remote Patient Monitoring allows patient’s health data to be sent electronically to a provider who then can analyze it and respond with appropriate recommendations.

Health Insurance Exchanges

Exchanges are organizations that will encourage a more organized and competitive market for buying health insurance. They offer different health plan options; certifying plans that participate and providing information to help consumers better understand their options. These exchanges will open in October 2013 with a required start date by 2014, and will assist individuals and small businesses in comparing and purchasing health insurance coverage.

ICD-10

Starting in October 2014, the U.S. healthcare system will begin mandating the use of ICD-10 codes to replace the ICD-9 coding system. The updated ICD-10 codes will be more specific and allow for more precise billing and address advances in medical knowledge and technology. While ICD-10 implementation can be challenging and places new demands on the provider community, it also opens up the opportunity for deeper data, which can be a tool to improve care and lower costs.

Social Media

Social networking and collaboration tools provide one-to-one streams of interactive communication which enable patients to seek out information about diseases and treatment options. Social tools can also be used to facilitate collaboration within the enterprise between clinicians, researchers, and partners. Social media has been used effectively for patients with cancer, diabetes, congestive heart failure, asthma, obesity etc. to help patients manage chronic disease and prevent readmission.

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