Healthcare systems around the globe are experiencing tremendous pressure to improve health services while containing costs. As a result, medical providers are replacing their older paper- and film-based systems with more efficient health information technology, such as electronic health records. Recent governmental actions have greatly increased the pace of this transition. For example, the U.S. government will invest billions over the next five years to move the U.S. healthcare system to broad adoption of standards-based health information technologies. This represents a huge new opportunity for medical system developers and integrators.
Specifically, the U.S. economic stimulus legislation (also known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) signed into law in February 2009 includes almost U.S. $20 billion to modernize healthcare systems. This provision, known as the HITECH Act, calls for a nationwide health information technology infrastructure with a goal of switching all Americans to electronic patient records by the year 2014. The legislation allocates grants and funding to promote health information technology. Vendors delivering certified electronic health records products will benefit from the large portion of the HITECH Act’s funding geared toward physicians and hospitals purchasing and implementing medical technology solutions.
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