Study: Healthcare IT market will grow 9 percent in 2003

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The healthcare industry's appetite for information technology (IT) will increase by 9.3 percent this year, the largest one-year rise since 1999, so says a new report from Sheldon I. Dorenfest & Associates Ltd.

 This year's growth will advance the healthcare IT market to $23.6 billion, compared with $21.6 billion in 2002, and will outperform all other segments of the technology industry.

 The report cites the desire to reduce medical errors and improve clinical work processes as the primary reasons for the affinity for healthcare IT. Market expansion is powered by the purchase of picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) technologies, as well as the acquisition of other clinical information systems, such as computerized patient record, pharmacy, surgery, emergency department, radiology, and document management systems.

 The Dorenfest study predicts that the healthcare IT market will maintain its 9 percent growth rate for the next three years, with spending reaching $30.5 billion by the end of 2006.