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Major hurdles to Healthcare IT adoption

by anonymous

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The Healthcare industry is currently undergoing a metamorphosis which is unprecedented. All the efforts being put in to digitize data is expected to bring in significant changes to the manner in which care is provided. Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act was enacted under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, has pushed for the adoption of electronic health records. This has resulted in efforts directed towards innovation in this industry. The intent is to move towards using more evidence-based tools in helping physicians provide better services to their patients. All this is finally expected to result in a smarter healthcare model. However, the entire story looks pretty promising till the issues at hand are considered. The biggest hurdle at this moment, which has the capacity to undermine the entire initiative, is the pace at which the adoption is taking place. The changes in approach which need to be brought in require acceptance and widespread use to ensure that the real benefits are passed on to the patients. Unfortunately there is a lot of inertia amongst physicians against adoption of information technology in their operations. Government is doing its bit by trying to enforce them, through incentives first and planned penalty later, to accept the change. But the real benefits can only be derived if there is a change of heart in the present generation of physicians and the various tools made available at their disposal are used to their fullest extent. The medical schools are doing their bit in making it mandatory for the students to use software tools and devices as part of their curriculum. This will automatically make it possible for them to extend it to their practices because of the familiarity which would have developed. The problem here is that such a phenomena will have a lag time. To ensure that the current population is not denied the benefits or is not made to wait for decade, it is the unwilling bunch of experienced practicing physicians who have to change.


In the current healthcare model the focus is on quantity. Physicians, to run their setups profitably, have to see a large number of patients on a daily basis. They are also badgered by the continual interference of payers who want to call the shots on how patients should be treated. All this has rendered the model effective and unyielding from both the physician as well as the patient perspective. Accountable care Organization is one of the new models which is taking shape as a consequence of these developments. This ties the provider payment to the quality of care and reduction of care cost for an identified population. They are responsible to the patients as well as the payer for the appropriateness, quality and efficiency of care that they provide. They are driven by 3 primary objectives:


  • Improved Care

  • Improved Health

  • Lower per-capita Cost


However, setting up an ACO involves a considerable amount of startup cost and large annual expenses for maintenance. This is where implementation of info systems can be of tremendous benefit – both in terms of reducing the cost as well as improving the quality of care. It is effective IT solutions which can ensure that the physicians receive the best possible information at the right time to enable them to achieve their goals. All this can be done ensuring confidentiality of patient information throughout the processes. But implementation of IT has also had its fair share of challenges which are not completely removed yet. For e.g. an ACO generally has a large number of Primary Care physicians under its wing. each of the setups generally have their home grown EMRs which generally are seen to lack all the functionalities needed to make them comply with Meaningful Use mandates . On handling this issue the next one to surface is generally that of lack of interoperability. As more and more physicians start joining the group ensuring both the above factors is a must. Another issue which came to the forefront was the differing speed of communication at healthcare setups which indirectly affected how fast physicians driven by need could communicate. Clinical software development teams can help you build clinical and EHR/EMR software projects within allocated budgets and time schedules.


We provide healthcare software development services and also have deep experience in healthcare application testing. If you would like to know more about our healthcare domain expertise, please visit us at Mindfire Solutions.

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