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Clinical IT Vendor Thought Leaders Share Perspectives on Ever-Evolving Segment

September 26, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Executives from five leading health IT solution providers discuss the clinical information systems market

As part of the Healthcare Informatics 100 questionnaire, health IT vendors were asked to estimate the percentage of revenue earned in each of their product segments. Beyond presenting the product segment revenues in each company listing, Healthcare Informatics editors took to further breaking down the top revenue earners in each of our seven segments: Financial Information Systems, Clinical Information Systems, Data Analytics, Data Management, Data Security, Data Exchange, and Consulting Services.

Following the release of the Healthcare Informatics 100 (The 100), we revealed the top 5 companies by revenue within these seven different categories. Serving as a supplement to the broader Healthcare Informatics 100 list, the goal was that this data, along with the content that accompanies it, would provide you, our readers, with a greater sense into the latest market trends within each of these respective product categories.

Those seven product breakout stories can be read in full right here, and as a follow-up to the Clinical Information Systems category, Healthcare Informatics sought out senior executive thought leaders from each of the five vendor companies that made this top-5 list, with the aim to take a deeper dive into the segment and get expert perspectives from the solution providers themselves.

The participants for these interviews, conducted over email, include: Bob Dudzinski, Pharm.D., executive vice president and medical officer, West Corporation (Omaha, Neb.); Garri Garrison, R.N., vice president, performance management, 3M Health Information Systems (Salt Lake City, Utah); Peter Durlach, senior vice president of strategy, Nuance Communications (Burlington, Mass.); Hoda Sayed-Friel, an executive vice president at MEDITECH (Westwood, Mass.); and Girish Navani, CEO, eClinicalWorks (Westborough, Mass.). Below are excerpts of the discussions we had with the various vendor thought leaders.

How do you see the clinical IT segment five years from now, in terms of the types of solutions that will be prevalent, and what will look different from now?

Garrison: First, we’ll see an increased focus on provider and payer collaboration. Providers must build stronger relationships with their payers and post-acute care partners to share data and ensure access to a holistic view of the patient’s care. This convergence of provider and payer segments will require IT systems that combine clinical, financial, and socioeconomic data at all sites of service. Sharing data to achieve mutual goals will ultimately improve care and directly benefit patients.

Over the next five years, clinical IT systems will transform and normalize disparate data sources, resulting in robust analytic capabilities that will significantly advance performance measurement. With advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, we’ll see the focus shift from descriptive analytics to predictive analytics, which will allow real-time impact on outcomes and costs. At the same time, new tools will make it possible for patients and consumers to better engage in and manage their health. These tools will leverage socio-economic determinants of health, offering more options and information to consumers so they can make better choices.

We also believe that virtual health/telemedicine, along with consumer-directed care, will become mainstream, and healthcare organizations will continue to find innovative ways (Internet of Things, wearable sensors, home monitoring, and more) to improve efficiency and care access for improved convenience and lower cost.

Durlach: We will see a couple of big trends accelerate over the next few years to help address the amount of administrative work and burnout we are currently seeing from physicians and nurses. These shifts will allow the care team to spend more time with patients, caring for their needs and ultimately improving physician satisfaction.

We are already seeing this narrative being played out at major provider organizations, who are relying on things such as virtual scribes, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual assistants and voice recognition software. Doctors are looking to leverage offerings to optimize electronic health record (EHR) workflows that will help them worry less about the ins and outs of the EHR, and provide real-time decision support. By making significant changes to the way these systems currently work, it will allow physicians to stay more balanced and happier, while reducing the pressures the executive teams are facing to retain and recruit doctors and nurses.

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