This month marks the release of the Clinical Services volume of HIMSS Analytics’ Essentials of the U.S. Hospital IT Market (9th edition). In this report, our researchers analyzed the utilization of hospital based clinical information technologies not intimately associated with HIMSS Analytics’ EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM). I found the data in this release particularly interesting for the Nursing Informatics Community because of a trend surrounding Outcomes and Quality Management applications. Before we go there, let’s be clear on what we mean by the term “Outcomes and Quality Management application.”
According to HIMSS Analytics database documentation, an Outcomes and Quality Management application is defined as a software application that analyzes, compares and trends “information of detailed clinical practice patterns and parameters.” These types of applications are fairly universal business tools in hospitals. In fact, by the end of March 2014, approximately three-quarters of all U.S. hospitals reported having some type of Outcomes and Quality Management application. This market penetration rate comes after a steady growth of over eight percent in the past five years. Indeed, evidence from our database suggests vendors are attracted to this market. With over 81 different vendors with at least one system installed (or contracted to install) at a U.S. hospital, the number of vendors in the market increased over the last five years.
What caught my eye when analyzing the data was the projected growth of Outcomes and Quality Management Systems. Sales of these applications are poised to grow by nearly 10 percent over the next five years. This is a notable finding given the universality of these types of tools. It suggests that the type of Outcomes and Quality Management tools currently used by hospitals are not necessarily meeting the needs of Nursing Informatics. It may also suggest that the significance of Nursing Informatics is elevating and healthcare organizations are investing in the Informaticists role.
Given the increased focus by the federal government on quality outcomes (as evidenced by the value based purchasing effort) as well as the market’s move towards managing population health, I believe Outcomes and Quality Management applications will be an area of change in Nursing Informatics in the next few years. Buckle-up my friends.
About the Contributor
Lorren Pettit is Vice President of Market Research for HIMSS Analytics. He works with an expert team offering clients strategic guidance toward achieving sustainable growth and market leadership positioning.