IT Career JumpStart

Feb 26 2013   3:29PM GMT

Healthcare IT Grows Increasingly Mobile, CompTIA sez

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

There’s an interesting press release from CompTIA up on their website this morning, entitled “Healthcare Providers Expanding Use of Mobile Technologies…” Because I just blogged on this very topic for Windows Enterprise Desktop yesterday (see “Dell Latitude 10: Viable Healthcare Tablet Option?“), this report struck something of a chord with me. And when my old Novell buddy, Mickey Applebaum, commented to me on Facebook that Acer also has “…a dedicated medical care section and are even listed in the Medical Product Guide as a provider of technology products to healthcare professionals” and that he has “…hooked several doctors’ offices [up] with Acer Direct…” for such sales, something of a pattern started to emerge:

healthcare IT = EHR + mobile + hunger for innovation

An increasing number of medical professionals are turning to mobile devices on the job.

An increasing number of medical professionals are turning to mobile devices on the job.
[Image Credit: Shutterstock 125225471]

(remember, EHR stands for “electronic health records,” and represents US government jargon for the phenomenon that’s currently revolutionizing medical data storage, as the vast majority of medical records make the transition from purely paper-based to entirely digital forms. Because the CompTIA press release lumps EHR with EMR below, I should also explain the EMR stands for “electronic medical records” as well).

Bingo! In that context, the CompTIA information comes as no surprise whatsover, and these eminently repeatable factoids from same make very good sense indeed (all of the following bullet points are verbatim quotes, somewhat abbreviated where ellipses appear, from the CompTIA press release cited above):

    • healthcare providers are on the cusp of expanding their use of smart mobile devices from routine business activities, such as e-mail and scheduling, to more advanced, care-specific uses … examples include medication monitoring and management, remote access to health records[,] and assisting patients in managing insurance claims.
    •  while most healthcare providers are in the early stages of adopting and incorporating mobile health and other technologies into their workflow, the research points to high levels of interest and experimentation … a net three in four healthcare providers surveyed believe mobility is having a positive impact on healthcare.
    • one in five physicians with a mobile device capable of supporting apps uses health- or medical-related apps on a daily basis … over the next 12 months, healthcare providers expect to increase their usage of medical apps to … where 62 percent are relying on these apps at least a few times per week.
    • CompTIA data indicates that about six in ten healthcare providers have at least some elements of an EMR/EHR system in place.
    • CompTIA research … points to a more positive attitude toward EMR/EHR among healthcare providers this year … a net satisfaction rate in the low 60s indicates acceptable performance, but leaves a sizable segment of users seeking improvement…
    • Fewer than half of healthcare providers acknowledge being fully prepared for their transition to electronic health record[s].

Obviously, equipment makers, solution providers, and system integrators all smell big opportunities for mobile healthcare IT, for everything from acceptable devices to specialized applications and systems that target healthcare professionals who might use those devices. I hope it’s equally obvious that there’s HUGE certification, employment, and career advancement potential here as well, and that interested IT professionals should keep in mind that there’s lots of money in healthcare, where some of it inevitably trickles down and into IT.

To that end, interested readers might want to consult a pair of pieces I wrote for Tom’s IT Pro on the subject of healthcare-related IT certifications:

  1. Top 5 IT Certifications in Healthcare (March 20, 2012)
  2. Healthcare IT: The Lowdown on EHR and Stimulus Certifications (December 3, 2012)

There’s a LOT of opportunity for IT pros who are interested in working in or around healthcare, and there are lots of certifications designed to help them find their way into this field. If this appeals to you, be sure to check these things out.

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