The Cost of Healthcare Information

March 11, 2010 at 8:01 pm Leave a comment

Are the major healthcare software and technology vendors price gouging? Probably not. They are a victim of their own solution strategies. Through acquired and some organic growth, they find their EIM solutions to lose all agnostic approach. This is bad…very bad. With very few exceptions, the vast majority of healthcare organizations DO NOT buy all applications and modules from a single stack player. How could they? Healthcare systems grow similarly – some organic, some through acquisition. When a hospital organization finds over the course of time, an application that is reliable, such as a billing system, there is tremendous reluctance to remove a proven solution that everyone knows how to use. Because the major technology providers in the healthcare space act as a “One Stop Shop”, they spend most of their time working on integrating in their own product suite with little to no regard to other applications. Subsequently, they find themselves tapped: they have to position all products/modules to maintain the accessibility and integrity of their data. This is problematic when for the hospital that is trying to solve one problem but then must purchase additional solutions to apply to areas that are not broken. That is like going to the store for a screwdriver and coming back with a 112 piece tool set with a rolling, 4 foot cart built for NASCAR. You will probably never use 90+% of those tools and not be able to park in your own garage because the new tool box takes up too much space!
IT resources – including people – must be utilized. In today’s economy, leveraging internal IT staff to administer a deployment is a given. If those resources do not feel comfortable in supporting the integration plan, then status quo will be justified. This is the “anti” approach to providing solutions in the healthcare industry: the sales leaders from big box technology firms want their sales people in front of the business side of the organization and to stop selling to IT. In the economy today, IT has to at least validate their ability to administer new technology solutions as the prospect of long-term professional consulting engagements to follow post installation is much smaller.

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