The government’s stimulus plan sets aside about $36 billion to push implementation of electronic health records systems, or “EHRs.” Although much of the funding won’t be available until 2011, a lot of physicians’ groups, clinics, and medical laboratories may begin working with digital formats over the next year or so.
Most big HMOs and large hospital groups have already begun shifting to EHRs. But there are a lot of small medical groups and doctor’s offices around the country, and most of them still use paper. These are basically small businesses, and the cost savings they’ll get from adopting EHRs will have a big impact on their bottom lines.
So, where are the opportunities? The biggest will be for small consulting firms that help physicians and small medical groups make the changeover. They’ll need people to help physicians plan their systems and adopt the new technologies. They’ll also need training and support specialists.
If you understand systems that support workflow and networking in small or midsize offices, you’ll have an advantage. Think Microsoft Sharepoint. Also useful will be knowledge of applications that convert paper records to digital records.
Another thing: It’ll help if you’re familiar with some of the more common clinical information systems that support EHRs. These include Open Vista from MedSphere Systems; Centricity EMR from GE; Omni MD; and gloStream, an EHR and practice management system that works with Microsoft Office.
So, in a nutshell: Keep your eye on health technology.
I can’t believe they do this to you
I’m Cat Miller, this has been DiceTV, and we now return you to your regular desktop.