Eight Tech Predictions for Medical Practices in 2014

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1. We’ll see a bigger shift to the cloud. Cloud-based EHRs will continue to gain traction over the next 12 months, especially among smaller practices.

 

2. Patient portal use will grow. Meaningful use requirements (including Stage 2 patient-engagement requirements) will continue to drive adoption of patient portals by medical groups. A 2013 survey of more than 1,200 physicians revealed 44 percent already use a patient portal in their practice.

3. Windows XP will be done. Microsoft has not updated Windows XP for years, and in April 2014, Microsoft will no longer be releasing any security patches for XP. And Windows XP, the world’s most popular operating system ever, will turn into a virus magnet.

4. Doctors will push for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). While some physician practices provide media tablets for doctors, in the coming months, clinicians will make an even greater push for systems that support their personal style of computing.

5. Regulations will drive IT decisions. In 2014, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the passage of more stringent HIPAA guidelines, and Stage 2 of meaningful use will drive IT purchases.

6. Preventative health care will grow. With a continued push on meaningful use and the rise of ACOs, we’ll see more emphasis on preventative health care for private physicians.
 

7. Mobile health will thrive among doctors using mobile devices to coordinate care or access their EHRs and patients who use it to manage their health. Patient engagement and mobile health go hand in hand, with physicians increasingly using technology to reach out to patients outside of formal appointments.

8. Patients will become more engaged. In addition to relying more on their mobile devices, patients are becoming more inclined to access services such as telemedicine. Patient portal adoption is also fueling patient engagement. We will see a big push to encourage patients to participate in the management of their health.