Medical informatics systems top ECRI watch list for 2012

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According to a new study published by nonprofit organization the ECRI Institute, the adoption of clinical informatics systems should remain a top priority for medical facilities and healthcare IT professionals in 2012, reports Healthcare IT News.

The ECRI Institute is committed to independently assessing medical technology in order to improve the quality of patient care. The study outlines several key factors that should be considered priorities for healthcare IT professionals in the coming year. The adoption of medical informatics technology topped the list, followed by transcatheter heart valve implantation, digital breast tomosynthesis and robotic-assisted surgery techniques.

“Technology is increasingly a top management concern, and is no longer confined to clinical and technical decision making,” Jeffrey Lerner, chief executive officer of the ECRI Institute, told the news source. “Themes emerging on our 2012 list reflect ongoing impacts of healthcare reform initiatives and new technology developments that emphasize patient-centered care.”

When compiling its list of pressing issues facing the healthcare industry, safety improvements, personalized medicine and patient treatment options, and increasing demand for cost-effective solutions were seen as key criteria.

The implementation of medical informatics technology saw significant growth in 2011, with many healthcare facilities adopting such systems in order to provide patients with a higher quality of care. Recently, medical officials at the Illinois Office of Health chose Intersystems’ HealthShare clinical informatics platform to provide a statewide healthcare IT infrastructure to more than 50,000 care providers and state agencies.

Such initiatives have been observed across the country. According to Information Week, demand for scalable medical informatics solutions is likely to rise in coming years because of predicted increases in federal healthcare expenditure due to an aging population. A recent research study published by Deltek indicates that federal healthcare spending will exceed $6 billion by 2016.