The single most significant trend to take off in the health care sector in recent years is the rising importance of IT. While IT has always been a critical component of operations in hospitals and other care providers, the increasing prevalence and value of electronic medical records (EMRs) and departmental digital assets has pushed IT to the forefront.

Consequently, the health care information systems market is poised for tremendous growth, as a recent report from Sandler Research highlighted. According to this research, health care information systems adoption is accelerating across the board, but various factors – including size and location – are affecting how quickly and successfully health care providers are able to adapt to this trend.

“The global health information system market will see an 8.4% CAGR through 2019.”

Information Systems Growth
The study examined the global health care information systems market for 2014 through 2019. SandlerResarch.org discovered that during this period, the global market is on pace to experience a significant compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.4 percent.

This growth is attributable to a number of factors. Specifically, advances in a variety of technologies have created a need for more expansive, improved information systems. These advances include the development of new computed and digital radiography systems with flat panel detectors, enhanced automation and other new features.

The report further noted that while adoption of information systems in the health care sector is occurring around the world, this progress is particularly pronounced in the Americas, and even more so in the United States. In the U.S., this trend is due largely to the increasing use of IT services throughout the health care sector. Critically, the implementation Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is increasing the number of patients which health care providers must accommodate. This makes information systems much more important as hospitals and other organizations strive to meet the new demand for care in the most efficient, effective manner.

Size Matters
The Sandler Research report also pointed out that there is a discrepancy between health care providers of differing sizes in terms of their approach to health care information systems. Specifically, small and medium-sized hospitals and diagnostic centers are not currently able to justify the expense of more costly information systems.

This state of affairs is having an impact on the market as a whole by holding back growth, according to the study. The fact that the global market is on pace for an 8.4 percent CAGR through 2019 despite this road block is a further testament to just how much demand there is in the health care sector for this technology, and suggests that the adoption of these systems is not likely to slow well into the future.

Security Concerns
As more and more health care providers take steps to embrace health information systems, it will be imperative for organizations to exercise caution when selecting and deploying these solutions.

Speaking to Becker’s Hospital Review, Kumar Chatani, Executive Vice President and CIO at Mount Sinai Health System in New York, noted that cyberthreats represent one of the biggest emerging problems this year.

Data security is a major issue for health information systems.
Data security is a major issue for health information systems.

[H]ealthcare has become a major cybersecurity target and consequently, the ability to safeguard electronic information and systems has become a major priority to ensure patient confidentiality and to protect company assets,” said Chatani, according to the source. “Given the complexity of technology services and devices that require protection, it has become a costly and time-consuming process to stay head of hackers.”

Given this state of affairs, health care providers should look to partner with trusted IT services providers as they move forward with information system adoption plans. Only an established IT services provider will be able to ensure that the care provider’s operations remain fully safe and compliant while migrating to a new system.