Surveying the (Over-)Lay of the Land at HIMSS
Last week’s HIMSS12 conference in Las Vegas was exciting, informative, and overwhelming – too much to see and too many people to talk to in too short a period of time. In other words, it was a typical HIMSS, with the added excitement of gaming tables and overpriced food.
I generally think of HIMSS as a great place to survey the “lay of the land” in healthcare IT. This year, PatientKeeper showcased a dramatically different approach to healthcare IT than what visitors saw elsewhere on the show floor. Our overlay approach – layering a physician-friendly front-end system on top of traditional hospital back-end systems – truly stood apart. A PatientKeeper overlay provides hospitals looking to automate their physicians the first real alternative to ripping out existing HIS systems and replacing them with a new one. The “rip and replace” approach is not only costly and time-consuming, but also is inherently risky in its own right. Perhaps not surprisingly, we met with a variety of hospitals at HIMSS12 that had recently completed a rip and replace and were still struggling with physician adoption.
It is interesting to note that the separation of the front-end from back-end transaction processing systems isn’t a new concept in the world of enterprise software systems; it is, however, a new and novel concept in the world of healthcare. Based on our experience at HIMSS12, this is a concept that a lot of people – physicians, hospital IT executives, and hospital administrators – are very excited about.
- Physicians like the overlay because it gives them an intuitive set of workflow automation tools, designed for them, with their needs in mind. The result is a system that is intuitive to use and saves them significant time each day.
- Hospital IT staff likes the overlay because it works with the IT infrastructure that’s already in place and doesn’t require a complete retraining of the staff. The system can be implemented in under six months with a small team versus a rip and replace effort that will consume the entire IT organization (and then some) for 18 months to three years.
- Hospital administrators like the overlay because it is a fraction of the cost of a full rip and replace and it is the shortest and most effective path to high levels of physician adoption – both for Meaningful Use and, more importantly, to allow the clinical workflow to become fully electronic, thereby improving patient care and hospital efficiency.
We’re appreciative that so many of you sought out PatientKeeper at HIMSS12. We look forward to continuing the conversations that began there, and further exploring how a physician overlay can benefit hospitals and physicians.