In Stage 1 this was optional and according to CMS stats 66% of the providers that successfully completed Stage 1 deferred in this area because it was too much to tackle. Stage 2 mandates this and also requires that a certain percentage (5%) of a provider's patients must use and interact with patient portals. Many providers contend that this is unfair. Providers simply can't force patients to use portals.
As the technology advances, more providers are adopting telemedicine. "Physicians and other clinicians are increasingly trying telemedicine in many forms, ranging from low-tech telephone consultations to video presence augmented by sophisticated medical devices. Breakout will occur as telemedicine services become reimbursable to providers and/or are shown to reduce total cost of care," says Spooner.
8. Data Breach Prevention
Data breaches cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars as well as credibility and trust. Last December, Ponemon Institute released its annual Patient Privacy Study. One of the major findings was that healthcare data breaches are on the rise and that most breaches were due to employee negligence or sloppiness. Ninety-six percent of polled healthcare providers have reported a breach in the last two years.
The adoption of mobile devices is also putting patient data at risk as 81% of those polled said they used mobile devices to collect and store patient data. And 49% of respondents said that they do nothing to secure or encrypt this data. Healthcare organizations need to ensure that they are doing everything possible to reduce employee mistakes and identity theft. Security will be a top priority in 2013.
It's clear that the healthcare IT sector is fertile ground for technology professionals. If you have expertise in any of the eight areas outlined above, 2013 could be the year you make a career move. Or if you're looking to broaden your IT skillset, you now know some areas that could pay off down the road.
Read more about careers in CIO's Careers Drilldown.