Spring fever is upon us. This coming weekend marks the official goodbye to winter and first day of spring, and ushers forth the promise of renewal, growth and transformation. Chances are you’re drawn to similar themes when it comes to IT and healthcare, and it just so happens that this week’s HIT List is “in bloom” with topics from digital health to cybersecurity and the C-suite.

  1. Digital health transformation. There’s no question that digital health promotes more efficient, affordable care. A boon in wearables continues pushing healthcare further into the digital age and supports ongoing transformation. Experts project consumer demand to hit 87 million devices in 2021, while the wearable device market grew 139.4% in 2015.
  2. Renewed safety pledge. Forty-nine health IT companies have signed an industry pledge (The Open Data Pledge) to improve patient safety through increased data sharing. The goal is to shine a spotlight on the need for transparency and health information exchange across the healthcare ecosystem. Engineers and researchers can use shared data for predictive analytics that ultimately improve care.
  3. Growth in cyberattacks. Cyber intruders are upping their efforts to access healthcare networks, while healthcare organizations grapple with growing their defenses. A new survey found 48% of organizations had a breach involving loss or exposure of patient information in the past year. On average, organizations have an advanced persistent threat (APT) incident every three months. Yet, keeping on top of threats is vexing — only 26% have systems and controls in place to detect and stop APTs, and only 33% rate their organizations’ cybersecurity posture as “very effective.”
  4. Evolving integration. The C-suite holds the key to successful EHR and analytics efforts, according to the 27th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey. Strong executive leadership and dedicated clinical health IT experts are in demand to integrate with other leaders and increase chances for successful adoption. Organizations already recognize the value — just under 71% already had a high-ranking clinical IT executive in place, while CMIO roles have doubled in popularity since 2012, rising from 9% to 18%. The top priority for health leaders is clinical integration, followed by interoperability.
  5. Partnership boosts senior care. By partnering, Medtelligent and American HealthTech join forces to offer senior care facilities a comprehensive assisted living solution. Their goal is to help providers more seamlessly navigate the challenges of caring for seniors who move from, and between, assisted living facilities to nursing facilities and other providers. Given that by 2030, one of every five U.S. residents will be 65 or older, integrated care solutions like these will be crucial to quality care.
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