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Welcome to the healthcare industry’s IT purchasing guide

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   By Phil Colpas, Managing Editor, June 2011

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Congratulations are in order: We've made it halfway through another year. And as we do every June, it's time for us at Health Management Technology magazine to unveil our healthcare IT resource guide for 2011-2012.

Regardless of whether your political ideologies swing left or right, it must be acknowledged that the $19 billion worth of federal incentive programs offered through the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act have provided an impetus for change within the healthcare industry, motivating practices both small and large to jump into the electronic fray sooner rather than later.

With incentive payments beginning this year for electronic health records systems and in 2013 for ICD-10 conversions, it's no wonder there are literally thousands of healthcare IT vendors — and more cropping up all the time — willing to help providers achieve meaningful use.

And in order to meet meaningful use, the current Stage 1 proposal states that a minimum of 40 percent of prescriptions must be sent electronically; this increases to 50 percent in Stage 2 and 80 percent in Stage 3. It's a safe bet that everywhere along the meaningful-use timeline, there will be a veritable plethora of vendors vying for your attention.

This resource guide is our attempt to make some sense of the wide and wild landscape that is healthcare IT, to identify companies based upon their strengths and, hopefully, to provide a source of valuable information to our readers. At the very least, it provides a starting point for those seeking the right healthcare IT vendor and solution for their particular situation and circumstance.

The resource guide is set up as follows: Companies are listed under one or more of about 80 topic-specific categories — for example, CPOE (computerized physician order entry) — so that vendors can be located based upon need. The index in the back of the book lists companies alphabetically, so that if you have a particular vendor in mind, you can immediately find information about that company, the services it provides, a description, its Web site address and physical address.

I'd like to thank every member of the team here at NP Communications for going above and beyond again this year to put this resource guide together. It was a daunting task; but, happily, no one balked and ran for the hills!

Enjoy the magazine. If you're in Orlando for HFMA the end of June, we hope to see you. And, until next time, here's wishing you good healthcare IT.

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