As money flows into efforts to modernize healthcare IT systems, a wide variety of tech vendors -- from traditional healthcare systems providers to newcomers seeking a piece of the action -- are offering new systems, products, and services to assist caregivers in doing a better job of helping patients.
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Major efforts are underway to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health care, while reining in the ever-growing costs of providing that care. Technology is expected a big role in accomplishing those goals. As government and regulatory requirements force doctors, hospitals, and other parts of the medical establishment to modernize, more money is being devoted to upgrading medical and healthcare technology systems. IT vendors are moving aggressively to grab a piece of that pie, providing new systems and tools ranging from electronic medical records systems to diagnostic systems to compliance systems, and many more. More physicians are beginning to implement systems that facilitate the collection and sharing of medical information among all of a patient's caregivers through health information exchanges or cloud-based services. At the same time, as they move from paper-based records to digitized medical records, they must secure that data. So IT vendors also are offering systems to help healthcare delivery organizations do a better job of protecting personal, medical, and financial information connected to their patients. There is no shortage of technology systems available today for healthcare, and organizations are reviewing, buying, and deploying a wide range of systems that include computerized provider order entry; clinical decision support systems; health information exchanges; e-prescribing for outpatients; patients' personal health records; patient registries; telemedicine or remote monitoring; information retrieval; and administrative functions. The latest research shows these systems can significantly improve treatment outcomes and reduce mortality rates, eliminate unnecessary treatments and drugs, and lower costs.