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Getting a Glass-Half-Full Perspective on Healthcare IT

April 18, 2012
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Why vendor executives are bullish on the next several years in healthcare

At a time of tremendous change and development in healthcare and healthcare IT, it’s always good to get a 360-degree view of the industry. I find myself constantly checking in with CIOs, CMIOs, clinician leaders, other hospital and medical group executives, health plan executives, policy analysts, consultants, and, yes, vendors. People from every stakeholder group in healthcare have perspectives to share, and all are valid and interesting.

One person who has  a broad view of the vendor market in healthcare IT is Brian Parrish, the senior vice president at the Atlanta-based Dodge Communications, one of the leading public relations agencies serving the healthcare IT vendor market. Brian and his team, like the teams of all the top PR agencies in healthcare IT, has been exceptionally busy of late. And that busyness reflects the current ferment in the industry.

“The most important thing right now,” Brian told me recently, “is that the excitement we’re seeing among our clients is at a level we’ve never seen before. They’re just seeing more opportunities than ever before, and a lot of them are being driven by healthcare reform. Accountable care is a huge thing, and being able to see what accountable care will be like years down the road is certainly a huge challenge, but it also offers opportunities. With ICD-10, most of our clients were ready on that front already, and for the most part are against delays. The sense is, we’re ready to go whenever the date is.”

That will be heartening to speakers and panelists participating in the Healthcare Informatics Executive Summit early next month in May; as participants on three of the Summit’s very important discussion panels—on ACO development, on HIE development and sustainability, and on leveraging clinical data through and beyond the data warehouse—will be engaged in discussing, the readiness of vendors to meet the ever-expanding needs of the patient care organizations that are their customers, will be a key issue going forward.

Not surprisingly, with the opportunities growing and the stakes higher than ever before, “Everyone  is out there trying to align themselves with the key buzzwords; so the competition to stand out in the marketplace is intensifying,” Brian added. “So we’re working with our clients to really nail down their message to the marketplace, and we’re increasingly using non-traditional media, such as social media.”