From the Editor: Top Trends Reveal EMR Potential, Promise & Much More

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 - Lisa Fratt - Portrait
Lisa Fratt, Editor

At Health Imaging & IT, October is Top Trends season. Every year, we dive into the results of our annual survey and unravel the details of how decision-makers are grappling with the complex demands of imaging and IT. This year, we’ve put the comprehensive results online in stories with slide decks on the full survey base as well as sliced and diced data by facility types. You’ll find details on how facilities are increasing their referral base, where they are marketing, where they are increasing staff, how they’re reducing radiation dose and which IT, imaging devices and clinical IT systems facilities are buying (and much more!). Check them out now at TopTrends2010.HealthImaging.com.

This month’s cover story looks at a hot topic these days, EMRs. Specifically, oncology practice leaders share their experiences. Our Top Trends data and success stories indicate that health IT is trending positive.

The pioneers in our cover story illustrate that even in the data-driven oncology environment EMR deployment can be a win-win project and enhance both the bottom line and patient care. (And that was prior to incentives.) It’s clear. A well-deployed system cuts staffing, space, and supply costs and accelerates and informs clinical decision-making.

Similarly, our annual Top Trends in Health Imaging & IT survey reveals the strategic potential of EMRs. Nearly 40 percent of Top Trends decision-makers plan to leverage the technology to increase revenue by providing remote access to referring providers. The data show harnessing the potential of the EMR often requires an upgrade or new deployment.  More than half of Top Trends respondents expect to replace or upgrade EMR technology within the next two years. This unparalleled investment in health IT represents a tremendous opportunity and a massive challenge. Well-deployed EHRs are the foundation for the high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered enterprises that we need.

As our oncology EMR luminaries exemplify the economic and strategic value of the EMR, health systems of all types seem to be expeditiously moving in the right direction and prepping for meaningful deployment (which should boost safety and efficiency and trim costs).  A recent College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME) survey revealed that 90 percent of CIOs expect to achieve meaningful use by Sept. 30, 2012, the end of Stage 1.

As always, we’d love to hear how your facility is trending. Your feedback helps us plan and deliver the valuable information needed to help meet current and upcoming imaging and IT challenges.