|The Health Record Review
by Jeff Rowe, Editor
Posted on Mon, Aug 06, 2012 - 03:35 pm
Increased demand for product leads to increased opportunities for vendors, right? Well, maybe.
According to a new report from CompTIA, an IT trade association, the HITECH act and other federal policies, which are aimed at expanding the use of, and thus the demand for, EHRs and other health IT, are actually inhibiting the ability of small and medium IT vendors to take advantage of growing provider demand.
As the report’s executive summary sums it up, “small IT solution providers have the expertise to be a meaningful partner in the transition, but current policies have restricted their ability to enter the health IT market on a large scale. Several minor changes to existing policy would make great strides towards bringing small IT solution providers into the fold to help advance the transition and remove some of the burden from small medical providers.”
Further in, the report notes that “In general, the HITECH Act and the strategy presented by the ONC both have a significant focus on the medical provider, yet do not mention the role IT solution providers could play in a successful transition. Therefore, the entire burden has been placed on the medical providers themselves, without a focus on partnering with IT solution providers. There are also specific barriers preventing small and medium sized IT businesses from helping achieve the healthcare and economic potential, such as a lack of resources for retraining IT professionals, fully integrating IT professionals in the assistance provided by the Regional Extension Centers, and, data breach provisions that place unfair burdens on IT professionals.”
Naturally, the report includes a number of recommendations designed to rectify these problems.
“Federal policies,” the report concludes, “should reflect the important role small IT solution providers can play in the health IT transition and create avenues for them to fully participate. Doing so will help to expand adoption by medical providers and increase the quality of care to patients. Participation by small IT providers will also help drive job creation and retention, keeping America’s small business backbone as an economic engine for generations to come.”
The full report can be found here.