According to a data released by the Department of Health and Human Services, over half of the doctors in U.S. are now using electronic health records in their day to day health processes. The paper based systems are getting obsolete and are being cast off.
The EHR market – sans other healthcare technologies – is now estimated to be at between $6 billion and $10 billion. For this reason, noted investor Peter Thiel recently referred to this technology as revolutionizing “our interactions with the medical community, just as Facebook did for social networking.”
In the wake of this milestone, let’s take a deeper look at the market forces that triggered this shift, the remaining challenges, and the benefits for patients.
What led this transformation?
During a recent HealthBeat conference conducted by VentureBeat, Farzad Mostashari, the national coordinator for health information technology, insisted that “the market must drive innovation “and not the government.”
But the “push and pull” effect for EHRs came from D.C. In 2009, congress passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. This offered health care providers reluctant to make the shift to digital systems “meaningful use” incentives — and if that didn’t work, a threat of punitive action.
The Obama administration’s support for EHRs triggered the attention of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Without doubt, the effort has spurred adoption. New data shows that more than 50 percent of doctors and 80 percent of hospitals have received enhanced federal funding for achieving “meaningful use” of digital records.
- Now a majority of doctors use electronic health records – what does this mean for you? (venturebeat.com)
- Health IT usage more than doubles since 2012 (healthitplus.wordpress.com)