Medical informatics sales increased by 14 percent last year

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According to a new study published by Kalorama Information, the sale of clinical informatics systems increased by 14 percent in 2011, reports Healthcare IT News.

Government incentives, such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ meaningful use program, were cited by the report as key motivators for many healthcare facilities to purchase medical informatics technology. Other factors driving the increase in sales included greater overall focus on improving profitability and operational efficiency.

The growing acceptance of medical informatics systems among physicians and heightened competition between vendors were also contributing factors responsible for the uptick in sales, according to the report.

Officials from the Maryland-based medical research company predicted that increasing penalties for submitting claims on paper will also drive sales of electronic medical records (EMRs) in the future.

“After 2015, it is no longer voluntary to get EMR and to demonstrate meaningful use if you are a physician or hospital,” Bruce Carlson, a publisher at Kalorama Information, told the news source. “Medicare will actually reduce payments in reimbursement to physicians for paper submission. They plan so far to reduce Medicare reimbursements for physicians who are non-meaningful users of EMRs 1 percent for 2015, 2 percent for 2016, 3 percent for 2017 and future penalties to be determined.”

To arrive at their conclusions, the authors of the report examined several aspects of how medical informatics technologies impacted healthcare facilities. These factors included the benefits of cloud computing, the security of tablet computers and mobile devices, challenges to healthcare reform and interoperability between medical informatics solutions and other healthcare IT infrastructure.

According to the executive summary of the report, although there were no clear market-leading medical informatics vendors identified by the study, several manufacturers demonstrated significant market gains. These companies included Allscripts, Cerner, Epic Systems, GE Healthcare, McKesson Corporation and Siemens Medical Solutions.