It’s a new year and the health IT industry is on the rise. With new innovations and improved technology constantly being applied within healthcare entities, this industry can expect to see several health IT trends grow throughout the year. Among these rising trends, health IT organizations can anticipate uncertainty with new and changing laws, decreased spending, increased security measures, high storage demand, more trust in the cloud, improved revenue cycle performance, and a growing need for health IT professionals.
Uncertainty of the Future
With the new Congress beginning to implement new laws and regulations, the Affordable Care Act is either up for repeal or renewal. While changing and reforming the ACA won’t happen overnight, the healthcare industry can expect to see uncertainty in 2017. This will directly affect IT trends by possibly leading to failures to invest in health IT infrastructure and innovation. While uncertainty can halt some aspects of progress, it can also provide stability for current health IT professionals. With no major changes expected to happen to the industry over the next few months, this provides job security for those with health IT professions.
While job security is a given for health IT professionals in 2017, spending on health IT developments and programs will slow down. Budgets set aside for technological advancements in the health industry are expected to stay relatively the same this year. Not only should this trend apply to hospitals and healthcare facilities, but also to schools for medical transcription and ACLS online renewal as well.
Increased Security Measures
This will be the year where health IT professionals can expect to see an increase in the demand for higher security measures protecting healthcare data. As the healthcare industry begins to incorporate more advanced technology, the amount of valuable and sensitive data they curate increases. With this rise in information they collect, the need for more security within the health IT industry also increases. In years past there have been several breaches and security threats that 2017 can offer a remedy for. In addition to having more security measures in place, healthcare facilities are in need of more accurate security systems. Many organizations have expressed exhaustion from the amount of false threats determined with their current cybersecurity systems.
High Demand for Space
As hospitals and other healthcare organizations increasingly invest in technology to track and analyze data created within the healthcare industry, the need for space to store that data will skyrocket in 2017. Many healthcare facilities are currently experiencing challenges when it comes to accurately storing all their patient data. Several admit they are in need of enterprise data warehouses to better store and interpret their business information.
More Trust for the Cloud
In 2017 we can expect to see more health IT professionals investing in and using the cloud for enterprise architecture. Reports demonstrate an increasing trust in the cloud. However, several healthcare entities have yet to switch over to it. It's anticipated that 2017 will showcase a rise in health IT organizations using cloud storage for disaster recovery.
Improved Revenue Cycle Performance
In large healthcare organizations it's easy to let items slip through the cracks. However, a big focus this year will be on improving accuracy in pre-service methods, registration practices, timely capture of referrals, financial clearance procedures, and authorizations. Whether this accuracy is achieved through trainings, coding, or by some other middle office function, seeing improvement in the revenue cycle performance is one main goal for healthcare organizations in 2017.
Challenges Filling Vacancies
As the demand for health IT professionals grows, filling vacant positions will become more of a challenge. Finding qualified health IT professionals is expected to become more difficult in 2017. This is due to both the increased need for these professionals as well as the anticipated laws lessening a company’s ability to outsource. While this is a challenge for health IT companies, health IT professionals will benefit from this demand. They can expect job security as well as competitive job offers throughout 2017.
Edited by Alicia Young