A 5 minute read
March 7, 2019

From February 11th to 15th, over 45,000 HIMSS19 attendees flooded the halls of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida to share, learn, and showcase emerging healthcare IT products and solutions. This year, exhibitors and attendees were particularly interested in the fast-growing trend of analytics technologies in healthcare – with more than 194 exhibitors and 82 educational sessions related to this topic.

This indicates a slight shift from last year’s HIMSS18 conference, where interoperability, improving quality metrics, and population health were among the more popular trends. 

Despite the overwhelming popularity of analytics topics at HIMSS19, our data shows that nearly half of U.S. healthcare organizations still have not adopted business analytics technologies that can help lower healthcare costs and improve care coordination and outcomes.

Every healthcare organization produces data — usually, more data than anyone knows what to do with. The key to sifting through this data and transforming it into actionable insights is through analytics technology. So, what factors could be causing this implementation delay? Here are a few likely possibilities:

  • High Costs: Currently, these analytics systems are costly. It can be difficult to get key stakeholders (clinical, financial, and operational) to buy in or prioritize these technologies given budget restraints.
  • Cultural Changes: Employees at all staff levels need to come together to prepare and plan workflows for these new technologies and processes.
  • The Unknown: Many providers are waiting to hear more use cases to learn about how they can use analytics to reduce their spending without sacrificing quality of care.

Healthcare Analytics Technologies: A Deeper Dive

Definitive Healthcare and newly-acquired HIMSS Analytics experts tracked the installation rates of three types of analytics technologies at U.S. hospitals: (1) clinical business intelligence, (2) financial business intelligence, and (3) data warehousing in their latest webinar and found that there is sizable room for growth in this space.

  1. Clinical business intelligence is clinically-focused software for precise decision making to help improve quality and safety, reduce costs through more efficient processes, monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) and manage regulatory requirements, such as value-based purchasing. Clinical BI has seen a 20 percent increase since 2013 and, with only 51.4 percent of U.S. hospitals adopting these technologies, this is an area expected to grow significantly over the next several years.
  2. Financial business intelligence is software that explores operational KPIs that enable organizations to cut costs and make decisions in real-time, thus improving bottom-line results. Financial BI has increased 13 percent since 2013 and, with only 67.2 percent of U.S. hospitals adopting these technologies so far, this is another area expected to grow significantly.
  3. Data warehousing/mining is the practice of centralizing data from multiple sources for subsequent analysis. Data warehouses contain a wide variety of data that present a coherent picture of business conditions at a single point in time. Data warehousing has increased 11.8 percent over the past five years, rising to 71.1 percent, and this installation rate is expected to continue to grow over the next few years in provider organizations.

Looking at these three analytics technologies together, there are a total of 92 vendors in the market. Even though there is some maturing to do with adoption (on the clinical side of analytics, especially) it’s a competitive segment. We see 44 percent of hospitals using a vendor outside of the top 10 market share vendors (Epic, Cerner, SAP, Oracle, Meditech, Change Healthcare, Allscripts, Infor Healthcare, and CPSI). However, the market is still dominated by the two major EMR and EHR solution providers: Epic with about 28.6 percent of the market, and Cerner with 24 percent.



In terms of installation activity, we are seeing U.S. hospitals diving in headfirst: contracting, installing, upgrading and replacing hundreds of analytics systems over the past five years.


It’s important to note that certain U.S. states are further along in implementing at least one of these three types of analytics technologies, but there is still green space in the west and south – indicating opportunity for implementation in the future.


As adoption levels of analytics technologies rise, organizations will be able to learn from each other to create successful programs and ultimately help provide better care at a lower cost. Naturally, the growing pains are inevitable and necessary, but the future and capabilities of healthcare analytics technologies are exciting.

Other Noteworthy Healthcare IT Trends at HIMSS19

Conference attendees also discussed several technologies set for accelerated adoption in the near future: 

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): Providers, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, payors, and consumers are all preparing for deeper integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning into their processes with solutions like Google’s DeepMind and Apple’s CareKit in the works.
  • Telehealth: Telehealth technologies are found in about 50 percent of all U.S. hospitals, leaving room for adoption as these technologies continue to evolve and provide evidence of success.
  • Population Health Management Technologies: This is an area that shows much room for growth, with only 41 percent adoption at hospitals nation-wide.
  • Consumer/Connected Health: The personalization of healthcare is becoming increasingly popular, with the rise of wearable health devices, such as the Fitbit, Apple watch, and digital glucose monitors.
  • Cybersecurity: Healthcare data is becoming increasingly valuable to cyber criminals— even more valuable than data from financial services organizations or retailers. Because of this, the demand for healthcare cybersecurity vendors is steadily increasing.
  • Interoperability/HIE: Interface Engines are currently installed at 75 percent of US hospitals; this number is expected to rise slightly over the next year as providers prepare for the upcoming 2020 U.S. ONC Information Blocking Rule.
  • Blockchain: As healthcare technologies develop, blockchain use may start to overlap with other HIT trends like analytics, interoperability, patient experience, supply chain, and security.

In addition, there were other technologies that have already been implemented and, as such, are not likely to see higher rates of adoption. For example, 92 percent of U.S. hospitals already have a patient portal solution installed.

To learn more about HIMSS19 HIT trends, please view our related infographic and/or register for our upcoming webinar:
Save Your Seat: 2019 Healthcare Trends

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