The Department of Health and Human Services and other medical standard institutions have been progressively scrutinizing the standard practices and procedures of high acuity care departments in hospitals across the United States for patient care and safety breaches. Hence, high acuity care departments are turning to information technology (IT) applications to improve patient care and safety. This is essentially fuelling the growth of the high acuity care information systems markets.
New analysis from Frost and Sullivan, U.S. High Acuity Care Information Systems Markets, reveals that the market accrued revenues of $549.0 million in 2005, and is likely to increase with a compound annual growth rate of 12.5 percent through 2012.
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Several bills currently under discussion in the U.S. assembly can have a direct and positive impact on healthcare IT. The Wired for Healthcare Quality Act promotes the adoption of a nationwide interoperable health information technology system, and seeks to improve the quality and reduce the costs of healthcare in the United States.
“The presidential call to move all patient data to an electronic format by 2012 is giving significant impetus to the U.S. high acuity care information systems markets,” note Frost & Sullivan Industry Analysts Katherine Shariq and Chris Boone.
The Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS) is moving toward a pay-for-performance model, urging hospitals to collect data to prove certain levels of care delivered and to submit for reimbursements electronically. These regulations can essentially drive the demand for high acuity care information systems.
“High acuity care departments are realizing the need to leverage information systems to automate paper-based processes to reduce the risk of medical errors and improve patient care and safety, while simultaneously improving department workflows to reduce costs,” observes Shariq. “This is essentially driving high acuity care software solution purchases.”
Computer physician order entry (CPOE) is helping hospitals improve patient throughput with the adoption of electronic patient documentation enabling them to view clinical results at point-of-care. This reduces waiting time, enhances patient care and safety, strengthens the physician/patient interaction contributes to patient retention; thereby contributing substantial revenues to the high acuity care software solutions market.
However, high penetration rates among the major teaching hospitals are creating intense competition among high acuity care information system vendors. Therefore, multiple approaches and strategies are necessary to achieve success in this market.
“Niche vendors with rich features and functionalities in one department can expand sales with existing customers through the creation of robust information system (IS) solutions for other high acuity care departments, particularly systems that can be provided on a single clinical platform,” suggests Boone. “Vendors must be proactive in terms of incorporating converging healthcare IT standards, creating seamless inter-operability, and meeting emerging government regulations.”
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