Medical informatics adoption to reach 80 percent by 2016, says report

According to a new report published by IDC Health Insights, more than 80 percent of healthcare facilities will implement a medical informatics system by 2016.

The study cites increasing governmental regulatory practices as a primary motivation for many hospitals and care facilities to adopt a clinical informatics network. In addition to enhanced legislative compliance measures, the rapidly growing healthcare IT market is also listed as a contributing factor for the predictions of the report.

Analysts at IDC note that mainstream adoption of medical informatics systems was less than 25 percent in 2009. If analysts’ forecasts are accurate, the data presented in the report would represent an increase of 55 percentage points in the adoption of clinical informatics networks in a seven-year period.

To arrive at their conclusions, analysts conducted research into 10 electronic health record (EHR) vendors and their products, assessing each offering according to 48 individual criteria divided into two categories of strategic importance and capabilities for success of proposed project objectives. Many of the leading medical informatics vendors and their products were evaluated as part of the study, including Allscripts, Epic Systems, McKesson Healthcare and Cerner Corporation.

Judy Hanover, research director for IDC, told Information Week that some vendors are still struggling to achieve a balance of enhanced user functionality and compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ meaningful use federal financial incentives.

“The magnitude of the commitment that these EHR vendors need to make to produce functionality that both supports the operations of a practice and allows them to participate in meaningful use projects is fairly great,” Hanover said, as quoted by the news source. “I think I saw some vendors struggle under that burden while others seem to thrive.”

Hanover added that an increased focus on user functionality and efficient software interfaces were vital to the continued success of medical informatics systems in today’s healthcare IT marketplace.

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