The Best of HITinsight 2017

It's a new year and, like most busy healthcare professionals, you're probably wondering how the previous year went by so quickly. If you feel like you couldn't keep up with key conversations from 2017, spend some time with the HITinsight top 10 blog posts before you dive into 2018's most pressing issues. The HITinsight top 10 cover a wide range of relevant issues and offer useful information from seasoned healthcare IT professionals. There's something here for everyone. 

America has a rural healthcare crisis. Technology can help.

As 2017 begins, around 81 percent of Americans live in urban areas, up from 79 percent in 2000. At the same time, urban and suburban areas where vacant land exists have been expanding, redefining what used to be rural. We can learn a lot about the state of rural healthcare from several access-related statistics.
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Thinking of buying more EHR than you can afford?

There wasn’t just one cause of the 2008 Great Recession, but certainly a major factor was the creative lending instruments banks used to qualify prospective home buyers. Leading up to 2008, people misunderstood what they were buying and didn’t see the potential for financial catastrophe. In 2017, are hospitals facing a similar scenario with healthcare IT, particularly electronic health records (EHRs)?
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Could billion dollar EHRs bankrupt the country?

Among all the potential concerns Americans now face, the issue that rises to the top is healthcare costs. The concerns Americans are voicing about the affordability of care are certainly not misplaced. Overall healthcare costs rose more last August than they have during any month since 1984.
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5 ways technology makes behavioral health care better

In behavioral health, EHR adoption lacks financial incentives so the rate of adoption has lagged that of acute care. And still technology creeps into the way we provide behavioral health care, in many ways transforming and often improving treatment, compliance and reporting.
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Can effective healthcare IT reduce hospital costs?

It’s become readily apparent that healthcare IT is much broader than EHRs alone. So, instead of focusing intently on how healthcare IT can alter inpatient safety and quality, we’re better off looking at technology as all the tools patients and doctors can use to maintain and improve health.
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Healthcare IT pricing: Can a commoditized future drive down costs?

Currently, healthcare IT is not cheap, nor is it something for which it is easy to determine an average cost. So, will commoditization impact healthcare IT and offer some relief for overall costs? Yes, it most likely will. Might it also hamper innovation? Not until certain goals are achieved.
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Without interoperability, EHRs are too expensive

Would you pay top dollar for anything—a car, phone, television, whatever—that promises truly transformational technology at some unspecified future date? I doubt you would. And yet, so many hospitals pay multi-billions of dollars for healthcare IT systems that promise to integrate patient care … eventually. Why?
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Opioid epidemic makes EHRs essential to public health

When public health is threatened, widely disseminated information becomes a crucial tool used to curtail the spread of disease. Other metaphorically pathogenic events—the current opioid epidemic, for example—are more effectively managed by making sure doctors have complete information when evaluating patients and, especially, writing prescriptions.
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Interoperability standards are essential, and someone has to create them.

It’s not exactly a sweater or tie that gets worn once and then relegated to the top of the closet, but it turns out that patient data may have something in common with unloved holiday gifts. Both, it appears, are shared and then seldom used.
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Blockchain is exciting. How does it fit with healthcare IT?

As editors cast about for the healthcare IT story of the current year, they might have a hard time making the case for blockchain technology based on measurable recent impact, but they’ll have less trouble endorsing blockchain if they look at current hype and future potential.
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