New HIMSS report considers HIPAA rather challenge than burden to health care organisations

Chicago 11 December 2001Health care providers should view the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) not as a threat, but an opportunity to modernise information systems and move toward full automation of many back office functions which traditionally have been labour-intensive, error-prone, and inefficient, according to a new Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) report.


The report, titled "The Healthcare IT Environment: Strategies for Providers and Vendors", states that organisations that are able to quickly capitalise on greater provider/payer-to-patient connectivity, allowed by HIPAA, should reap significant benefits, both in reduced costs and improved customer service.

The study represents the findings of a meta-analysis of previously published documents from United States government agencies, health care professional and trade associations, consulting firms, health care and business journals, health care providers, pharmaceutical companies, and the investment community.

Healthlink, a health care IT services company, has sponsored the report. This company has working relationships with more than 400 leading hospitals and Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs) across the United States.

Analysis results were prioritised and narrowed to a list of 20 key trends across seven different categories. Experts in each of these categories then reviewed the findings to interpret the trends and provide future strategic direction to health care organisations and technology companies.

Among the areas covered are:

  • Rise of consumerism/use of Internet
  • Electronic medical records/clinical information systems
  • Changing role of the chief information officer
  • E-business capabilities
  • Telemedicine/health
  • HIPAA/privacy/security regulations
  • Quality of care and patient safety

The report, published under ISBN 0-9715301-3-0, is available at the price of $65.00 by contacting Tarsis Lopez of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. HIMSS offers expertise in health care for the management of technology, information, and change through member services, education and networking opportunities, and publications.

Leslie Versweyveld

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