It’s no secret that healthcare struggles to stay current with technology. Silicon Valley sees the delayed use of tech in the health setting and often looks for opportunities to seize a piece of the pie. Many enthusiastic startups, investors, and idea people have tried to blaze new trails in healthcare only to be met with defeat. From the outside, it may appear that healthcare operates like any other business. If you know the business, and healthcare is a business, then presumably you should be able to fare well in healthcare environment. Right?
Healthcare is a Business Like No Other
Healthcare is unique. It’s one of the only “businesses” in existence that everyone, at one point or another, will need. This business, with its guaranteed customer base, would sound like a sure-bet, but the complexity behind the sprawling (and grossly discontinuous) healthcare system present challenges not faced in other businesses.
Jeff Goldsmith has stated:
Healthcare services are not only the prototypical knowledge business, but also are perhaps the most complex product of our economy. More variability and uncertainty at the point of service exists in healthcare than in any other service in our economy.
In short, generating profit and measuring ROI, in the healthcare business, is difficult.
Healthcare IT is Difficult For Even the Most Successful Companies
It’s not just startups that struggled become profitable in Health IT. Well-known companies like IBM, Unisys, HP, Baxter, Siemens, Microsoft, and even Google have thrown their hat in the ring only to generate less-than-stellar results. These large organizations know their way about the IT and business frontier, yet they have not fared as well in the healthcare IT business.
Challenges Facing Healthcare IT Companies
Lynn Harold Vogel, Ph.D., part of the Next Wave Health Advisors Team, knows the unique challenges facing healthcare businesses. His extensive knowledge and expertise comes from years of experience of work as an “insider” in the health IT business. He has set out to demystify these challenges through a series of white papers that will examine the following:
- Health Care Services: Difficult to Define, Difficult to Measure
- The Unique Role of the Physician in the Health Care Industry
- Patients are Challenging Consumers
- Measuring Returns from Health Care IT Investments
- The Increasing Complexity of the Field of Medicine
- Privacy and Security
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