The Next Step

January 29, 2010
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Pioneering hospitals are positioning for the future - with one eye on the changing healthcare landscape, and another on innovative IT.
At cincinnati children's hospital medical center, leaders - including (from left) marianne james, senior vice president and cio; tony johnston, cto; and uma kotagal, m.d., senior vice president for quality and transformation - have built a data reporting infrastructure to support intensive quality and patient safety improvement
At Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, leaders - including (from left) Marianne James, senior vice president and CIO; Tony Johnston, CTO; and Uma Kotagal, M.D., senior vice president for quality and transformation - have built a data reporting infrastructure to support intensive quality and patient safety improvement

For a second year, Healthcare Informatics is presenting our readers with a package of Top Tech Trends that has been vetted by you, our audience. Like last year, after compiling a preliminary list of trends nominated by the editorial team, we once again put our list to a vote, by you. And how our readers voted confirmed a lot of what has emerged in the current Zeitgeist - above all, a fascination with the technologies and facilitative elements that will help hospitals and health systems create the kinds of high-quality, efficient, transparent and accountable delivery systems that policymakers, purchasers, payers and consumers demand.

In that context, it shouldn't be surprising that the need for data reporting infrastructures to support the advancement of future healthcare led our list this year, followed by a focus on CPOE. In fact, virtually every trend this year either relates primarily to clinical information system evolution, or includes clinical IS as one of its direct or implied elements. And with such a strong clinical IT focus, it is equally unsurprising that readers would be particularly interested to learn more about the role of clinical informaticists in helping to lead transformation nationwide. Indeed, there is a sense of connectedness among all trends this year that is clearer than ever before.

To a large extent, the industry-wide concentration on the meaningful use requirements of the ARRA-HITECH federal stimulus legislation - and the high level of interest in the outcome of the healthcare reform legislative process - is helping to shape that focus. And with the industry moving forward rapidly to transform itself to meet the new demands, a clear understanding of the most important industry-changing trends will be crucial for every CIO and healthcare IT executive.

In that spirit, we hope that this package of stories will add to your sense of clarity and purposefulness going forward. Please enjoy these articles, and best wishes in forging ahead into the new era of healthcare in your own organizations.

-The Editors

Healthcare Informatics 2010 February;27(2):10-11

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