Some things in life are very predictable. For example, I was very confident that a shiny ball would drop over Times Square to mark the start of 2018—and I was right. I’m also sure that dozens of health IT pundits will share their predictions about the various innovations and trends we should expect for the new year.

What’s less predictable is the accuracy of everyone’s predictions. Nevertheless, making predictions is a fun exercise – which is why I am offering up my thoughts on three of the bigger trends I believe will impact health IT over the next year.

  • Interoperability is inescapable. Health systems finally seem to be accepting the inescapable reality of interoperability. This means that hospitals must play nice with their cross-town competition and share patients’ clinical records. Fortunately, the growing acceptance of FHIR standards are helping to advance interoperability efforts. Over the next three to five years, look for significantly more interoperability progress.
  • Data dumping. Thanks to changing mindsets and better interoperability tools, organizations are exchanging more data than ever before. Unfortunately, many providers struggle to make the data usable at the point of care. When data is transferred from one system to another, much of it is dumped in unorganized buckets, and few providers have tools to efficiently organize the data into actionable information that enhances patient care. Solutions such as Quippe Clinical Engine can help with this issue by intelligently identifying, interpreting, and linking medical concepts and mapping them to standard nomenclature such as ICD-10, SNOMED, RxNorm, and LOINC. However, most providers will continue to struggle with dumped data throughout 2018.
  • Changing chart ownership. One positive trend that we expect will continue into 2018 is a shift in mindset about who owns the patient chart. Not too many years ago, most people believed that each doctor owned his or her own patient charts. Today both providers and patients are realizing the need for sharing clinical data between everyone involved in a patient’s care, including the patient’s family. The growing recognition that information must flow seamlessly between caregivers is a huge step in the right direction and advances industry efforts to get the right information to the right person at the right time.


What health IT predictions do you have for 2018?


David Lareau is CEO of Medicomp Systems