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All of these technology advances within different clinical disciplines have something in common. That “something” is the need for information technol- ogy to manage the much larger and more complex data sets that these new technologies produce. These data sets require more robust IT solutions to interpret, store, manage and transmit. This data also provides the content for the “evidence,” upon which evidence-based treatment protocols are based. The most signifi cant opportunity for healthcare pro- viders is healthcare information technology. Interoper- able and robust HIT solutions provide the infrastruc- ture that will enable providers to take full advantage of new clinical technologies that can positively impact the patient diagnostic and care process.
I can’t stress enough how fundamentally neces- sary standards-based interoperability is and how far it has advanced. I think the healthcare information- technology industry has done a good job internally of advancing data exchange prior to federal initiatives to streamline and integrate clinical, fi nancial and ad- ministrative tasks. Going forward and taking interop- erability as a baseline, the electronic health record provides the core for many future advancements. By constructing a digital patient chart that patients can access through their own PHR or portal, we can re- ally expand preventive care and wellness. Integration of clinical processes from mobile devices, images, dictation and clinical alerts – such as drug allergies, patient history alerts and electronic prescribing – are all major clinical opportunities. I’m describing the leading EHRs of the present as much as the future, but it’s the widespread acceptance and adoption that will provide that signifi cant opportunity.
Betty Otter-Nickerson Far and away the most signifi cant, game-changing technology has been the Internet. Prior to inexpensive, widely available high-speed Internet connectivity, any concept of connectivity for electronic data interchange or data sharing was expensive, slow and technologically challenging; envision connecting to a health informa- tion exchange at 9,600 baud over a dial-up modem. The ability to connect opens an unlimited ability to foster collaboration to ensure cost-effective quality of care. In the future, wireless mobile Internet connectiv- ity is the game changer. Healthcare is an “always on,” ubiquitously available service, and it needs a technol- ogy platform to match. Platforms are king, as social media and the iPhone have demonstrated. Platforms that securely connect providers and patients will be the next game changer.
CPOE, e-prescribing and clinical decision support; they transformed the computer from a passive reporter of facts to an active partner in care, and they showed up on the scene just in time for the 2000 IOM report, which exposed the problem of preventable medical errors. One of the biggest game-changing technologies will be
fi ltering and targeting of information. Technologies are emerging that can dissect the wealth of medical knowl- edge from millions of pages of books and journals and deliver the most relevant patient- and situation-specifi c information.
Tom Stephenson Web-based applications have had a signifi cant im- pact on the healthcare industry. In terms of adoption of clinical applications by physicians in particular, we needed to offer signifi cant advantages to them in terms of convenience and quality improvements before they were going to embrace those changes. Web-based ap- plications have certainly made that hill easier to climb. Of course, mobile technologies that are intuitive and can present only the information needed at the time will be the next big leap.
Steve Emery Obviously, the Internet is the foundation for all that followed, but the ubiquity of connections and devices, combined with the most recent generations of software for security, identifi cation and user interfaces, mean that the tools will be good enough and available enough for the fi rst time. Finally, the developments occurring with natu-
M.D., senior advisor, medical informatics, InterSystems Lauren Bellon
vice president, healthcare solutions and strategy, Perceptive Software
vice president, marketing, Sunquest Information Systems Justin Barnes
vice president, marketing, corporate development and government affairs, Greenway Medical Technologies; chairman emeritus, Electronic Health Record Association
president, Sage Healthcare Division Jonathan Teich
M.D., Ph.D., chief medical informatics offi cer, Elsevier Health
CEO, Healthcare Management Systems Steve Emery
director of product management, HealthPort Doug Bilbrey
executive vice president, sales and marketing, The SSI Group
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