For much of our 34-year history here at Health Management Technology, the onset of summer has meant it’s time for our annual resource guide. The guide has seen some significant changes over the decades, not unlike the industry we serve.

Think about it: It’s only been slightly more than 50 years since the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) debuted in 1961. And just 30 years have passed since the first software to help management engineers made its inaugural appearance on the annual HIMSS trade show exhibition floor. Since then, the number of software vendors occupying the healthcare IT space has multiplied exponentially, aided in no small part – especially recently – by federal incentive programs, such as the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act. These programs have also 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.

And though the healthcare IT landscape has changed dramatically since HMT’s inception in 1980, our mission here has remained essentially the same: To provide readers with valuable information in their specific fields; to connect them with their counterparts across the country; and to facilitate the exchange of information between vendors and end users. It considerably eases the pains of transformation (read: solutions implementation) when you can read about someone who has been there, done that.

HMT’s Resource Guide began solely in print form (back in the pre-Internet days, shortly after the discovery of fire) and has transitioned to both print and online versions, briefly existing only on our website. This year, the guide has returned to its full glory, available in both print and online versions.

The guide is our attempt to make some sense of the wide and wild landscape that is healthcare IT; to identify companies based on 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, decision support solutions – 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, as well as the company’s website, phone number and address.

Here’s hoping HMT’s Resource Guide helps you make the right connections.

Enjoy the issue.

The Source for Healthcare Information Systems Solutions