- Only 4% of providers feel their health IT infrastructure is ready to integrate such technologies as big data, cloud computing, mobile health, and social media to optimize their EMRs, according to a new report by MeriTalk.
- The EMC Corporation-sponsored report, which surveyed 151 hospital IT executives in August, found that despite the lack of integration capabilities with EMRs, many providers use such technologies. About 50% use big data to reduce readmission rates and better track patient outcomes, according to the study.
- Furthermore, 49% reported using private cloud technology and 35% using hybrid or public cloud technology, 57% of respondents said they use mobile IT to view patient info in real time, and 54% of providers use social media tools with their EMRs to encourage collaboration.
Until fairly recently, big data and other modes of healthcare data analysis were not in wide use. But this is changing. While most providers can't yet integrate their EMRs with other key technologies, a large number of them are moving ahead with technical preparations which should make such integration possible in the near future. This suggests that a growing number of providers have determined that big data and other emerging technologies truly need to be interoperable with their EMRs.
According to the MeriTalk report, providers are now taking a wide range of steps to be prepared for such integration, with 47% launching plans to upgrade security systems, 38% planning to improve application performance, 31% expecting to invest in cloud technologies, and 31% planning to modernize their backup and recovery systems.
Meanwhile, many providers expect to increase spending on big data, cloud technologies, mobile health, and social media—all of which they project will achieve significant savings—in 2015. For example, MeriTalk estimates that big data spending will lead to $7.2 billion in savings, or 21% of providers' annual budgets.