Ever since the dawn of 21st Century, Healthcare sector has seen transition from a static and seemingly inconspicuous industry to an increasingly dynamic and significant industry today. There has been uncontroversial evidence from the world firmly establishing the fact that improved health care facilities leads to better economic performance and GDP. Medical and healthcare are now the world’s largest industry in terms of both value and cost, which is three times greater than the banking sector (McKinsey Report -2012).
However, despite the rapid advances and innovations in the healthcare industry, the delivery system faces challenges worldwide in terms of providing access to quality care to everyone at a reasonable price. Even developed countries like US and UK are facing challenges for soaring costs of delivery system thereby placing severe strains on an already overburdened insurance system.
There has now been an ever growing consensus worldwide that Information Technology (IT) has potential to alleviate many of these concerns. In fact technology has become an integral part of healthcare delivery systems and has already started to revolutionize the way healthcare is delivered especially in these countries.
Some of the ways in which IT has been instrumental in providing effective delivery in developed countries is through implementation of following practices:
- Healthcare analytics for evidence based practices.
- Decision making support to care providers like clinical path ways.
- Seamless integration of patient information across healthcare providers and payers/insurance at the same time ensuring privacy and transparency through compliances like HL7, HIPAA Standards.
- Standardization of patient information through enforcement of coding systems like ICD, CPT.
- Implementing Telemedicine ensuring patients based in remote locations are cared using the most cost-effective ways.
These direct and unquantifiable benefits of Information Technology for successfully addressing these challenges and providing exciting opportunities are too large to be ignored. According to a Gartner study, the healthcare IT in U.S. market alone is expected to be worth $7.0 billion; expected to increase with an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5%.
This gives an immense opportunity to IT service providers to tap the healthcare market and provide quality & cost effective healthcare delivery. It’s time, IT service providers peg up focus on Health Care Industry – not just for international market but for indigenous market as well.