THE TRANSFORMATION OF HEALTHCARE IN THE US
A healthcare market in transformation
The U.S. healthcare system is being overhauled, using information technology to enable changes such as interoperable electronic health records, electronic prescription systems, clinical decision support systems, and new consumer-driven healthcare models.
This transformation of U.S. healthcare represents major opportunities for publishers but also presents huge implications in terms of new demands on content, systems and services. It is likely that integration or alignment with point-of-care systems may be a cornerstone of future publisher positioning and content value as U.S. healthcare markets become increasingly wired and interoperable at all points along the continuum of care.
Application of IT to healthcare
This report discusses four trends in relation to the application of IT to healthcare and continues to discuss issues and trends for publishers in addressing these changes.
Electronic health records (EHR) allow organisations to share patient information among healthcare professionals. Systems capture data at the point of care, integrate data from internal and external sources, and support caregiver decision-making.
The Continuity of Care Record (CCR) is an XML standard which presents the core data about a patient?s healthcare which enables otherwise incompatible systems to exchange key information about patients.
Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Systems are designed to integrate a medical knowledge base, patient data and an inference engine to generate case specific advice. Evidence-based medicine integrates clinical expertise with external clinical evidence.
Consumer driven healthcare is giving rise to computerized systems by which employers provide employees with the tools to design their own healthcare plans.
Major issues for healthcare publishers
- Availability of free information via the web, PDA, etc.
- New demands for content in terms of its organization, distilled to the most accurate, relevant, succinct, and useful content at the point-of-care, with the ability to expand outward into the full literature when sought.
- New types of editorial and electronic product development; new standards for healthcare nomenclature, data integration, and production systems.
- Integration & partnership with other healthcare systems and information technology infrastructure.
- Cost-effectively reaching multiple diverse institutional market channels.
- Investment in a future that is imminent, but risky in terms of timing, how it will shake out, and how publishers will interface with the market.
Marketing and Sales
Aligning with the ?new healthcare system? suggests adjustments in publisher marketing and sales, because there are also changes in budgeting for healthcare information technologies and who makes healthcare information buying decisions.
Key issues here are:
- Adoption of vertical market, account management structure, coordinating institutional sales at the account level;
- Pursuit of active, iterative product development;
- Presence as part of the market, in the healthcare provider?s professional and trade networks;
- Recognition of multiple levels to market relationships;
- Recognition of longer sales cycles;
- Forming marketing relationships with technology vendors.
Focus on a market segment - hospitals
Hospitals provide an interesting case study for examining some of the major issues and key trends regarding the marketing of electronic published content, how institutions currently acquire and use information, and how this is evolving in light of new developments in healthcare systems and informatics, especially in the area of clinical decision support and point-of-care applications.
The report examines information buying at two hospitals - Providence Health System: Portland Oregon and Lifespan: Providence Rhode Island.