The rising tide of electronic health records (EHRs) in hospitals is lifting many other boats, ranging from clinical analytics apps to private health information exchanges. Another beneficiary is medical device integration (MDI) software, which connects medical device data output to EHRs.
According to a new Capsite survey, 44% of the nearly 300 responding hospitals said they had purchased an MDI application in recent years. The majority of those purchases were made in 2011 and 2012.
Blain Newton, CEO of Capsite, a research and consulting firm, told InformationWeek Healthcare that the big increase in MDI purchases in those two years is “symptomatic of the surge in EHR purchases and EHR implementation. You have these EHRs that can accept data in, and you have all these devices out there, so the race is on to gather that data as efficiently as possible to improve clinical outcomes.”
Far more small and midsized hospitals than large institutions bought MDI software in the past two years. Newton explained that this is because the smaller facilities were more likely to have implemented EHRs during that time period.
“The Sharp HealthCares of the world have been in the EHR game for a long time and recognized the need to integrate these devices [earlier on]. Whereas some of the smaller shops are just getting on that train now.”
Those facilities have a long way to go. Just 33% of hospitals with less than 200 beds have recently purchased MDI software, vs. 75% of the midsized hospitals (200-400 beds) and 63% of the big institutions (greater than 400 beds).
Most of the respondents that bought MDI systems were in the process of implementing the software or planned to do so in the next year. Newton believes that many of the hospitals that have not yet moved in this direction will do so after they finish rolling out their EHRs.
“Most hospitals have either purchased EHRs and installed them or are on their way to installing them. That’s why we foresee an acceleration in the next couple of years in the MDI space. As those hospitals come online with the newly certified EHRs, they’ll think about connecting their devices to them.”
The MDI purchasers said they’d acquired their systems to improve clinical outcomes (40%), to improve efficiency (37%), to show Meaningful Use and get government EHR incentives (17%), or for some other reason (6%).
Source: www.informationweek.com; Ken Terry; August 15, 2012.