SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As health IT leaders make their way to New York for the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) Digital Health Conference, certain trends are emerging that will define healthcare in 2014. Practice Fusion, the nation's largest healthcare platform, looks at these key trends from 2013 and predicts what they might mean looking forward. With the ongoing Meaningful Use incentive push for health technology and the recent difficulty of many vendors to deliver on new and upcoming requirements, it's looking to be a big year for upheaval in the health IT sector.
Key predictions for the new year include:
Health IT incentives are here to stay - The Meaningful Use program incentivizing doctors and hospitals to use electronic health records (EHR) technology to improve care has already paid out billions for successful implementations. Requirements will grow tougher in 2014, not just for providers but also for vendors who may not be able to upgrade their products in time.
Many practices will switch their EHR solutions - As many EHR vendors struggle to meet Meaningful Use requirements and keep medical professionals satisfied with their solutions, the next year will see competition and consolidation across the market. One in three practices are already dissatisfied with their existing EHR, half of whom plan to switch in the next year. Among current Practice Fusion providers, one in four say they have switched from other EHRs.
Health care will become more networked - Meaningful Use requirements demand that EHRs interface with labs, imaging centers, referrals and patients. For small practices maintaining their independence from hospitals, this will help give them the resources they need to thrive.
Billing will be easier in the cloud with ICD-10 - With new billing code changes from ICD-9 to ICD-10 causing anxiety for providers, those equipped with flexible cloud-based systems will have more resources to make the change than those on paper or legacy EHR systems.
EMRs will power accountable care - A majority of doctors are now using EHR systems in their practices. The next few years will see those EHRs grow into more powerful clinical tools that will assist providers in improving outcomes. Cloud-based EHR vendors will be able to make these changes more rapidly.
Independent practices will emerge as the vanguard of innovation - With smaller teams and the ability to provide services like online housecalls, independent providers will soon be able to take advantage of lower-cost EHRs to provide more flexible, efficient services to patients.
"We're just seeing the start of how EHR will revolutionize the healthcare space," said Ryan Howard, CEO of Practice Fusion. "We anticipate that the hundreds of vendors in the space will consolidate to just dozens over the next year, resulting in tremendous opportunity to follow."
The NYeC Digital Health Conference brings together the top names in health IT along with a diverse group of professionals from the world of healthcare and technology alike. For more information about Practice Fusion's participation in the conference, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Practice Fusion
Practice Fusion is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare platform, with a mission of connecting doctors, patients and data to drive better health and save lives. A driving force in modernizing American health care, Practice Fusion is used by a community of 100,000 monthly active medical professionals serving 75 million patients. In April 2013, the company launched its consumer-facing platform, Patient Fusion, where patients can find and book appointments with doctors and access their medical records. The World Economic Forum recognized Practice Fusion as a Technology Pioneer for 2013. www.practicefusion.com
SOURCE Practice Fusion