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Top Ten Tech Trends 2012: A Time of Exhilaration and Anxiety

February 28, 2012
by The Editors
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Those who have had the opportunity to learn how to ski will vividly recall the first few times they took the ski lift to the top of the hill, got off the lift, and prepared to hurtle down the hill on two long pieces of fiberglass-and-aluminum hooked to their ski boots. There is that unmistakable sensation of both great exhilaration and anxiety, as one pushes off and begins the true schuss down the slope.

Something akin to that push-off sensation is being felt in patient care organizations across the country, as their leaders move forward these days to respond to a plethora of healthcare reform- and meaningful use-related mandates, and the seemingly limitless welter of choices that healthcare leaders face as they navigate this emerging world. Open- or closed-health information exchange? Vendor-supplied or self-developed order sets? Allow physicians to bring in their own devices, or provide devices to them? What kind of enterprise-wide image sharing and storage? How to architect one’s information systems to achieve true case management, care management, and population health management? Which performance improvement methodologies to use in order to speed change?

And of course, all of these decisions must be made in an operating environment that is more demanding, and changing more rapidly, than ever before.

It is in that context that we offer our readers Healthcare Informatics’  Top Ten Tech Trends. In the following pages, you will find 10 articles looking at some of the most important trends now emerging in healthcare. From the rise of the chief information security officer to the development of analytics tools to systematize population health and work on readmissions, pioneering patient care organizations are moving forward across a range of areas, and industry experts are peering years into the future to give us a sense of what’s ahead.

No single anthology of articles can fully capture the immense complexity of this moment in the evolution of the healthcare system, but we sincerely hope that this cover story package will give you, our readers, an overview of some of the most pressing—and exciting—issues and areas facing us as an industry in the next several years, as you and your colleagues work to master the “slopes” of organizational and health system change going forward. Happy reading!

2012 Top Ten Tech Trends

Performance Imperatives
Trend: Performance Measurement
By Mark Hagland

Population Health Management and Readmissions
Trend: Population Health Management
By Gabriel Perna

Turning Healthcare's Business Model Inside Out
Trend: ACOs and Care Coordination Tools
By Jennifer Prestigiacomo

Bridging the Care Transition Gap
Trend: Care Management Transitions
By John DeGaspari

Second-Generation Clinical Decision Support
Trend: Decision Support
By Mark Hagland

Year of the CISO
Trend: Privacy and Security
By David Raths

Private HIEs on the Upswing
Trend: Private vs. Public HIEs
By Jennifer Prestigiacomo

Imaging Informatics and the Enterprise
Trend: Imaging
By Gabriel Perna

The BYOD Revolution
Trend: Mobile Health
By David Raths

The Game Changer
Trend: Personalized Medicine
By David Raths

—The Editors

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