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FORECAST 2011 Health IT trends for healthcare providers

By Mark Brownlee, associate VP and head, healthcare provider practice, Infosys Technologies Ltd.

Healthcare IT investments of providers in 2011 will be under three broad categories: healthcare reform initiatives, ICD-10 compliance projects and cost-reduction initiatives. As part of healthcare reform initiatives, depending on their status in EMR adoption, providers will invest in implementing a new EMR system, upgrading an existing EMR system or will enhance the home-grown EMR and go for site certifi cation. Providers will leverage learning technologies, such as computer-based trainings, online helpdesk, Web 2.0 (user communities, blogs, chat rooms) and other adoption enablers to ensure meaningful use (MU) of EMR. Exploration is on for proactive MU monitoring, compliance management and reporting solutions and these will see some traction next year. ICD-9 to ICD-10 migration will continue to be the most important regulatory compliance initiative in 2011. There will be a lot of focus on clinical documentation-


improvement programs (CDIP) to facilitate accurate ICD-10 and DRG coding. CDIP will be supported by niche IT solutions that support clinical documentation assessment, reimbursement impact assessment, physician enablement, documentation change workfl ow and accurate coding.

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Cost-reduction initiatives will target

improving back-end operations, such as supply chain integration and optimization. Providers planning to participate in accountable care

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organizations, patient-centered medical homes and providers impacted by episode bundling for reimbursements will invest in integrated clinical and fi nancial analytics for better visibility into healthcare costs of their patients. 2011 may also fi nd providers investing in disease management IT solutions to improve clinical outcomes and reduce healthcare costs of their patient population.

ganizatio In addition to all these, to compete in a post-healthcare-

reforms world, providers need healthcare enterprise performance-management (HEPM) systems with advanced analytical capabilities to manage clinical, operational and fi nancial performance in an integrated fashion. With so many IT initiatives competing for budget dollars, HEPM systems may still not make it to the 2011 to-do list.

Multi-channel communications as a requirement

By Doug Cox, director of North America enterprise business, GMC Software Technology

The healthcare outlook for 2011 doesn’t look like it will be any less competitive. Hence, reducing the complexity and costs of member interaction as well as generating that all-important positive member experience will continue to remain top of mind. The fastest way to accomplish both objectives will be providing actionable information to members that enables them to better manage their health. This will require having the ability to determine the communication preferences of each member and the solutions in place to deliver through that channel. Whether your member likes paper (mail), electronic (e-mail, Internet) or using mobile applications, being able to meet delivery preferences when it comes to all

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communications is fast moving from an option to an expectation. Engaging members in one- to-one conversations that promote preventative care and other health-related changes is becoming one of the most effective avenues for cutting healthcare costs. Easy-to-understand statements and invoices

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tailored to specifi c preferences – and sent through the channel of choice – will reduce member calls and build trust. Having the technology in place to access the data you

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already have from membership claims or benefi ts systems can put your members front and center with every communication you send them. I can’t think of a better way to retain your members – or acquire new ones. For this reason, continuing to grow in the ability to create multi-channel communications where content is converted on demand and delivered via the preferred method as part of your everyday communication capabilities should be on the 2011 goal list for every healthcare company this new year.

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30 February 2011


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