AutoID & Data Capture Blog

HIMSS 2010: Who Stands to Benefit from the Stimulus Package?

This year’s HIMSS conference was enormous.  With 888 exhibitors filling nearly all the space available at the Georgia World Congress Center, it’s impossible to understate the magnitude of healthcare’s largest tech event.  Everyone who wasn’t discussing the stimulus package was thinking about it.  With between $20B and $23B proposed for healthcare information technology (HIT), it’s easy to understand the all enthusiasm, particularly when you consider that the total HIT market was a meager $26B prior to the economic downturn. 

But, this year’s exhibitors were cautiously enthusiastic, and justifiably so.  For years, market research firms have been touting healthcare as an industry ripe for technology investment.  After all, core enabling technologies including wireless networks, mobile devices, barcodes, RFID and RTLS are ideally suited to improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare delivery.  However, the adoption of sweeping reforms that would fuel these investments, e.g., EMR, CPOE, Unit of Use Packaging, etc., has been gradual, almost tectonic.  Some technology companies attracted to healthcare by the prospect of “full scale adoption” have since abandoned the market, while others have made measured investments in product development, strategic alliances and channel marketing that will likely pay dividends in the very near future.  What do these suppliers have to say about selling technology to healthcare providers?

  1. Established processes are king.  Provide an investment roadmap that is evolutionary, not revolutionary.
  2. Interoperability with existing IT infrastructure is essential (see the king with questions).  What does this mean?  Strategic alliances and co-development partnership agreements.
  3. Every healthcare institution is unique. Reference accounts and ROI calculators only get you to the table.  The viability of technology investments must be proven in house.
  4. Managed service offerings resonate.  The most effective managed service offerings provide the scale and flexibility required to justify ROI and extend core offerings to support new applications.
  5. Healthcare practices within technology companies should be supported by dedicated key account management teams who provide accountability for installed systems and identify new business opportunities.
Whether a proposed $20B cash infusion represents a pay day for these suppliers remains to be seen.  But one thing is clear; those who have invested wisely in market development now have the market knowledge and relationships required to prosper, and the credibility required to fend off fast followers.


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