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SCOTUS decision yields opportunity, demands responsibility

By Phil Colpas, Managing Editor U

nsuccessful in my attempts to locate “The Supreme Court of the United States 2012 Healthcare Decision for Dummies,” and having read umpteen analyses of the landmark case from both conservative and liberal fronts, I must return to my earlier, overly simplified conclusion: SCOTUS upholding the Affordable Care Act is a huge boon to healthcare IT vendors of all ilk. Because after all is said and done, more customers mean more opportunities to sell solutions. Regardless of whether you work for a hospital, a payer, a group practice or a healthcare IT vendor, as your customer base grows, so does your responsibility to that base.

It’s all about the homework. For vendors, that means fulfilling a need for providers and patients, making sure the solution interfaces well with other systems and that its operation is intuitive enough so that it will actually be used. For providers, it means determining the needs of their patients and employees, ascertaining how those needs dovetail with meaningful use and government mandates, and researching applicable vendors re- lentlessly – until reasonably assured the one left standing is the right one for them. And all parties involved must remember that every component – from when software developers write that first line of code through the hospital’s final imple- mentation of the solution – should be about improving the patient experience. That’s why it is imperative vendors design well-crafted and purposeful solu- tions, and that providers investigate all options beforehand to ensure they purchase the right solution for their particular situation and venue. In fact, prior research may very well determine whether the person who purchases IT solutions for your hospital or practice is lauded as a hero or asked to leave town for being half-a-bubble short of plumb.

HMT is here to help prevent the latter from happening. Our job is to facilitate communication between vendors, providers, payers and, ultimately, patients. In these pages you’ll find case studies from your peers detailing problems, solutions and implementations; what worked, what didn’t and why. You’ll read Thought Leader topics penned by healthcare IT luminaries on a variety of timely topics. You’ll see the latest products from vendors and keep up to date with cur- rent happenings.

This month, we offer informative pieces on data storage, security, bar coding/

RFID/RTLS/asset tracking, wireless technologies and workflow management; also, in our Industry Watch section, we feature reactions to the SCOTUS deci- sion from some key industry-group players. Enjoy the issue.



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