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Customer Experience and Design

Top 5 Technology Trends in Healthcare – November 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

Consolidation and Mergers

Healthcare entities, both payers and providers, have been making an increased effort to capture market share and dominate their geography. Smaller players are being picked up by larger players, consolidating physician practices and health plans. These mergers have driven digital strategy projects and paperless environments, with an increased interest in advertising and public facing websites to try to attract market share.

Extending Your EMR

Healthcare professionals have been very vocal about the challenges that come along with electronic medical record systems. The workflow in many EMR systems was created by a programmer and works the way it was programmed, not the way healthcare professionals work. Several technology tools were made to extend or approve upon EMRs without ripping the code apart, often by putting it into a browser or allowing it to be mobile.

Security and Privacy of PHI

The further we develop our technology, the more security risks we’re introducing at the same time. BYOD and wireless networks increase the mobility and sharing of data, which is helpful for diagnosis and storage but risky for protecting PHI. There is a delicate balance between how much security is enough and when security will make it impossible for us to manage the system.

Fragmentation of Health Records

While interoperability is a key trend in healthcare, the cost of care is driving us away from this goal. In order to save money, patients are now going to several different pharmacies and stores to get discounted prescriptions where they can, fragmenting their health records. If the only time these medications are reconciled is when patients visit their primary physician, that’s not often enough to prevent adverse drug reactions.

FDA Oversight

In September, the FDA revised its guidelines on what mobile medical applications need to be regulated and what are harmless to consumers. Now the FDA is wading into the issue of what else they need to regulate and what they don’t. This week they decided t to block 23andMe for providing medical advice without a physician involved. The FDA will battle where the concept of ensuring accurate medical information will start and stop.

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