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What Healthcare IT Professional Should Know!

November 24, 2008
by Wayne Craige
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Is it fair to state that your level of involvement in the healthcare industry dictates how much you know about the industry? Well, if you believe this - here’s a quick summary of three important areas that all IT professional should understand and be able to present in three minutes or less.

The global healthcare industry - is a huge market with high growth potential in many countries

  • The global annual healthcare expenditure is over U.S. $3 trillion (8% world gross domestic product).
  • The U.S. annual healthcare spending is approximately $2 trillion and could consume close to 20% of GDP within a decade.
  • The annual expenditure for healthcare in the world is over U.S. $3 trillion, or roughly 8% of the world's gross domestic product (GDP). In the U.S., annual healthcare spending is now approximately $2 trillion, occupying the largest sector of the nation's economy.

The potential and challenges – within healthcare, not only IT related

  • Potential: New medical technologies and treatments; new options for consumers, providers, and payers
  • Challenges: Unsustainable cost-demand imbalance, changing demographics
  • Historically under-investment in information technology: Capital constraints and lack of incentives major causes (For example, most patients’ clinical records are still on paper.)

The key stakeholders - whose interests must be balanced,

  • Providers: Physicians, hospitals, nurses, and others
  • Payers: Government payers and private payers such as health insurance companies
  • Consumers
  • Employers: In the U.S., payment by employers for the bulk of healthcare coverage

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