Doing the Right Thing

Joanne Rohde | Axiel Project | February 28, 2012

Having just returned from HIMSS, the Supershow of Health Information Technology, I'm trying to shake off the flashing lights, Health IT booth-turned-pub, the DeLorean silver car and other attention grabbers to see what the potential of $40B of our tax money to be spent on incentives means for improving the state of health care information technology in the country.

The sad truth is not much. It's still really hard and really expensive to get clinical information from point A to B, (unless the same company is at both ends, and then it's just expensive) and to get well edited and timely information on mobile devices. These are basic fundamental needs that any other industry has, and yet the most curious thing to me is that there is no anger, no outrage, from the hospitals that are forking over the money, year after year. As a former CIO in two other industries, I know that until the clients start voting with their wallets, no change will be forthcoming.

Like any other industry where a lot of money is at stake, there are major companies that control a lot of the market. In our industry, these include well known names like GE, and, Siemens, and industry specific powerhouses like McKesson, Epic, Cerner and Allscripts. Historically, these companies have been selling primarily to hospitals, but with the new HiTech act of 2009, they are expanding their products to reach physicians as well...