Role of Small IT Firms in Health
BackBy CompTIA —Washington, D.C. — Aug. 3
Small and medium-sized technology businesses have the expertise, knowledge and skill sets to help the U.S. health care industry advance its use of new IT tools, but barriers may keep many of them on the sidelines, according to a new white paper published by CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the IT industry.
“Federal policies should reflect the important role small IT service providers can play in the health IT transition and create avenues for them to fully participate,” said Elizabeth Hyman, vice president, public advocacy, CompTIA, and co-author of the white paper. “Doing so will help to expand adoption, particularly by small 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 white paper, titled “Health IT: The Essential Role of Small IT Solution Providers,” was published in conjunction with CompTIA Breakaway, an annual event for the IT channel, and the inaugural CompTIA Tech Summit, which took place last week.
Industry estimates project spending in the health care IT market at more than $34 billion this year. CompTIA’s second annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities study found that about half of health care practices surveyed expected to increase IT expenditures in the next year.
The paper calls for the IT industry to be included as a partner in the implementation of health IT.
“This partnership will not only allow for more widespread adoption of health IT among small medical providers, but will also allow health care providers to continue their focus on patients and avoid dedicating staff to new information technology systems,” the paper states.
While IT solution providers have the ability to play a major role in helping the health care industry implement health IT, a variety of barriers exist that prevent them from entering the market in large numbers. These include:
• A lack of resources for retraining IT professionals.
• Fully integrating IT professionals in the assistance available to health care providers through the HIT Regional Extension Centers.
• Data breach provisions that place unfair burdens on IT professionals.
Federal policies should allow medical providers to focus on patients and open the door for IT solution providers to focus on making the transition as efficient and effective as possible, the paper concluded.
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