Reports are circulating
that spending on healthcare IT is set to grow at an annual rate of 24% over the next several years. This is phenomenal growth, and it's tempting to think that rising tides are going to raise everybody's boat. But with the proliferation of EHR vendors we've seen in the past couple of years, that conventional wisdom isn't likely to hold true. How do you make sure that you're one of the rising boats, and not one of the swamped ones?Development talent is the scarcest resource right now
Among other things, this boom in healthcare IT means more competition for talented developers with healthcare-specific experience. And the influx of cash means that a few well-funded or well-positioned EHR vendors are going to reap early rewards -- and then will likely start poaching even more top talent from other vendors by offering bigger salaries and more benefits.
Your best move is to protect your IT resources by having them focus only on the most crucial parts of your system -- the parts that will differentiate you in the marketplace. Use a drug information provider with robust APIs, an intuitive data structure, and superior customer service to take the burden off your own development team so they can focus on more important tasks. One such vendor is Lexicomp, who has helped many customers get to market faster after less-than-positive experiences with other medication list vendors.
Another tactic is to forgo building your own eprescribing tool (which can take months to certify anyway), and instead use a standalone module like DoseSpot.Meaningful Use still rules the day -- but look ahead to Stage 2 and beyond
With the government incentives now beginning to pay out, more and more practices and hospitals are pursuing Meaningful Use certification. To compete, your system will need to meet the Stage 1 requirements like drug-drug interaction checking, drug-allergy interaction checking, and distribution of patient education materials.
But it's not enough to simply check off the existing boxes. Every other EHR vendor is rushing to do the same. Instead, you need to provide value above and beyond the others. Again, a drug information vendor like Lexicomp can help you exceed Stage 1 requirements and put yourself where you need to be for Stage 2 and 3. They offer functionality like dosage range checking for both adults and pediatric patients, detailed patient education pamphlets in multiple languages, and links to some of the best drug and clinical reference services available.
Deploying extra features like these in your system can help make it more likely that you'll be a rising boat when the money starts pouring in.