A 7 minute read
ipad with heart medical illustration
December 19, 2019

As this year comes to a close, we recall all that 2019 has brought us: the first-ever photo of a black hole, the much-anticipated finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones series and, most exciting of all, Definitive Healthcare’s acquisition of HIMSS Analytics data services business.

The acquisition, finalized back in January, allowed us to integrate technology implementation and other IT intelligence data from HIMSS Analytics into our existing product—creating what is now the Technology Insights Search (LOGIC).

This tool enables users to search our  Hospital & IDN database by category, technology type, vendor, purchase plan, implementation year and more in order to track trends, and define changes in technology implementation across the healthcare market.

With the full integration of LOGIC technology installations, there are a number of key areas where implementation data has grown over the past year. Using this enhanced tool, we’ve identified four tech categories with the greatest changes in installation records from 2018 to now:

  • Clinical Systems
  • Information Sharing
  • Human Resources
  • Clinical & Business Intelligence

We’ll look more closely at the most-installed technologies to understand which of these areas saw the greatest increases in hospital usage within the past year, and which tech systems might continue to be highly utilized in the new year.

1. Clinical Systems

Definitive Healthcare tracks 20 different applications in the clinical systems category, with four specialized technologies—intensive care, obstetrical systems, oncology information systems, and anesthesia information management systems—each increasing their installation records at 1,200 or more hospitals over the last year.

Intensive care technologies were the most highly-implemented clinical systems in 2019, with a total of 4,206 reported installations—or approximately 53 percent of all U.S. hospitals. This number includes a total of 1,287 new installation records added between the 2018 and 2019 data collection years. Intensive care systems provide automated documentation, clinical decision support, and patient reporting capabilities for critical care professionals.

With 4,076 reported installations in 2019, obstetrical systems for labor and delivery services are the second most widely utilized clinical technologies. A total of 1,372 new installation records were added in the past year, accounting for obstetrical systems implementation at just over half of all U.S. hospitals.

Approximately one-third of all U.S. hospitals report usage of an oncology information system—designed to support cancer patient care by integrating data from surgical, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy treatments.

With about 3,000 installations this year, anesthesia information management systems command a similar share of the clinical systems technologies across the U.S. Anesthesia information management systems are electronic medical records (EMRs) that not only integrate communication with other provider systems, but can also record medication delivery and physiologic indicator data received from an anesthesia machine.

EMR manufacturers dominate the vendor market share across clinical system technology types, due to the specialized, integrated nature of these tech solutions. Epic Systems holds the largest market share—with between 46 and 67 percent share of installations across all four clinical system technologies. Other leading clinical system vendors include Cerner, Meditech, and GE Healthcare.

2. Information Sharing

Information sharing solutions represent one of the most diverse tech types used among healthcare professionals—with technologies ranging from social media and web content management systems to public health reporting and health information exchange tools. Definitive Healthcare tracks 19 different technologies in the information sharing category and two of these, in particular, have increased installations at 860 hospitals or more in the past year.

Health Information Exchange  (HIE) software creates interoperability within hospitals and health networks, and allows both providers and patients to safely share electronic medical records across organizations within a given community or region. Implementation of HIE solutions has steadily increased from 2,625 installations reported in 2015, to a total of 4,334 installations reported this year—accounting for utilization at almost 55 percent of all U.S. hospitals.

Year-to-year growth in HIE tech installations

Year-to-year growth in HIE tech installations

Fig 1 Graph represents year-to-year installations of HIE technologies at U.S. hospitals, using data accessed on the Technology Insights (LOGIC) platform. Definitive Healthcare data as of 12/03/19.

A total of 84 different vendors—from EMR solution providers like Epic, Cerner, and Meditech to more specialized vendors like Aetna and InterSystems—have at least one report HIE installation at U.S. hospitals.

Web content management systems (WCMS) are another highly utilized, albeit less-discussed, information sharing technology reported at care facilities this year. Definitive Healthcare tracked a total of 2,822 WCMS installations—or about one-third of all U.S. hospitals—with nearly 1,300 new implementation records added between the 2018 and 2019 data collection years.

Twenty-six different vendors compete in this space but, of these, Microsoft has the largest market share with 83.4 percent of all web content management system installations at U.S. hospitals. Wordpress and Adobe Systems are two other top tech vendors in this category—with 6.1 and 3.3 percent of WCMS installations, respectively.

3. Human Resources

With so many healthcare professionals engaged in the process of providing patient care—from physicians to administrative personnel—it’s no surprise that human resources technologies are often among the most widely used at care facilities.

As of December 2019, Definitive Healthcare tracked 32,924 total tech installations across 10 different human resource technology types. Personnel management solutions and learning management systems were among those applications with the greatest increase in installation records over last year.

Personnel management technologies are utilized at over three-quarters of all U.S. hospitals, with a total of 6,282 reported installations this year—an increase of about 1,100 vendor records from 2018 to 2019.

Vendor market share for personnel management system technologies

Vendor market share for personnel management system technologies graph

Fig 2 Chart represents the vendor market share for personnel management technologies at U.S. hospitals, using data accessed on the Technology Insights (LOGIC) platform. Definitive Healthcare data as of 12/03/19.

Notably, we see a growing number of non-EMR or clinical vendors as the leading players in the human resource technology market. A total of 72 different vendors compete for market share in personnel management solutions, with Infor and Oracle commanding the greatest vendor market shares in this space.

Learning management systems (LMS) are used for the administration, documentation, reporting and delivery of e-learning education courses or training programs. Implementation of LMS solutions has grown markedly over the past four years—from 1,623 reported installations in 2015 to nearly 3,500 installations this year. Utilization has increased by 1,000 installation records in just the past year alone, indicating a growing emphasis on employee growth and engagement throughout the provider market.

4. Clinical & Business Intelligence

Definitive Healthcare tracks 15 different tech applications in the clinical & business intelligence category, including those used for bed management, clinical decision support, productivity solutions, marketing performance measurement, and other solutions. Of these applications, population health management tools and business intelligence - clinical systems have seen the greatest increases in product utilization over the last year.

We tracked implementation of business intelligence - clinical solutions at close to half of all U.S. hospitals in 2019, with a total of 3,853 installations reported. This software monitors key performance indicators (KPIs) in order to support precise, clinically focused decision-making solutions aimed at reducing care costs and improving care quality.

Population health management systems are utilized at 39 percent of all U.S. hospitals, with a total of 3,105 reported installations this year—an increase of 1,100 vendor records between the 2018 and 2019 data collection years. These systems aggregate patient data across multiple health information sources, and output that data analysis into a single, actionable patient record.

What both of these business & clinical intelligence technologies have in common is a shared focus on improving care quality while reducing costs—a goal championed in the industry-wide value-based care (VBC) initiative. VBC is certainly not a new topic of discussion within the healthcare industry; the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced value-based payments almost 8 years ago now.

This year, however, CMS introduced alternative payment models (APMs) as a way to continue incentivizing high-quality, cost-effective care—triggering a discussion about transitioning to the value-based care delivery model on a larger, industry-wide scale. With this focus in mind, we’re very likely to continue seeing increased implementation of clinical intelligence technologies at hospitals across the U.S.

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