With the federal incentive program for electronic health records well underway, hundreds of companies are selling EHRs. InformationWeek Healthcare has cut through the noise and identified a dozen vendors worth watching.
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Products: For emergency departments: ED PulseCheck. For critical care: Picis Critical Care Manager. For surgical units: various departmental systems.
Why You Should Watch: Healthcare reform is fueling demand for advanced analytics, and analytics requires data. Nobody in healthcare has more data than the insurance industry, so payers are sitting on potential gold mines. The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010 also set off a march toward data-driven accountable care, and payers want to leverage the massive data stores they possess, which probably explains why some of the largest insurers have bought their way into health information exchanges.
A week after acquiring HIE vendor Axolotl in August 2010, the Ingenix analytics subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group went a bit deeper into health IT, buying Picis, a Wakefield, Mass.-based maker of information systems for high-acuity hospital departments. (Ingenix has since changed its name to OptumInsight.) That means that one of the two largest health insurers in the U.S. -- United and WellPoint tend to alternate in the top spot -- now owns an EHR vendor. Could this be the start of a trend?