Report: Health IT To Play Key Role in Health System Transformation


Ninety percent of U.S. health care leaders and 84% of global health care leaders expect IT to play a "key factor" in health care system changes in the coming decade, according to a new survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute, Healthcare IT News reports (Manos, Healthcare IT News, 4/9).

The report, released last week, surveyed nearly 600 government and health industry leaders in more than 20 countries about the future of health care.

According to the survey, new health information systems, technologies and tools will be developed and implemented to provide patients with more control over their own health care.

David Chin, director of PwC's Health Research Institute, said that mobile technology and the Internet will become important tools. He added that health information also will be increasingly spread via social networking websites (Kelland, Reuters, 4/6).

In addition, PwC found that one-third of consumers surveyed said they would consider health care delivered over the phone or Internet. Meanwhile, 50% of the health care leaders said they are working to expand access to care to patients' homes.

By 2020, health systems are expected to mainly use electronic health records controlled by individuals, a shift away from the paper-based medical records predominantly used in health systems today, according to the report.

Of the health leaders surveyed, 90% said greater use of EHRs would make health care systems more efficient and effective. However, they acknowledged that EHR implementation would be costly (Simmons, HealthLeaders Media, 4/7).

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