With electronic health records, e-prescribing software and the push for meeting meaningful use requirements, there are many healthcare IT initiatives that organizations need to keep track of. However, there are still some critics who do not think that enough is being done to help hospitals remain on top of all changes.
Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush wrote an opinion piece for Techonomy and said that when it comes to health IT startups, venture capitalist (VC) funding is not doing enough. In order for the healthcare industry to continue growing and serving patients in a digital age, VCs need to stop giving health IT the "short shift."
"In healthcare, there's no point in doing well financially if you're not improving outcomes or supporting caregivers," he wrote. "Be more than a bright idea. Move the needle in a measurable way toward improving patient care, helping caregivers be more efficient, or making or saving money."
Bush added that when organizations are able to solve real world problems and alleviate patients' pain, they then stand a better chance to remain profitable.
Furthermore, Bush explained that at times, the government stifles innovation. Caregivers are rewarded for a narrowly defined set of activities, which limits their appetites for further growth, entrepreneurial services and technology.
However, a report by Mercom Capital Group found that in 2012, healthcare IT had $1.2 billion in 163 deals, which is a huge improvement from 2011's $480 million in 49 deals.
Regardless of varied opinions on how healthcare IT is growing, the fact of the matter is that it is becoming more prevalent in medical organizations of all sizes. Partnering with a healthcare IT consulting firm can ensure that facilities are able to keep pace with the changes and keep staff members educated on all initiatives.