Better than one in three hospitals have a picture archiving and retrieval system and another 32% plan to install one in the next two years, but only about one in eight hospitals have an electronic medical record system running in their ambulatory-care facilities, according to data gathered by HIMSS Analytics, an arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.
The information was gleaned from the Dorenfest IHDS+ Database, which reflects IT usage from about 4,000 hospitals through the end of the fourth quarter of 2004. HIMSS Analytics was created when healthcare IT market researcher Sheldon Dorenfest agreed in July 2004 to sell the database developed by his company, Dorenfest & Associates.
The IT market for certain key applications is highly concentrated among a handful of leading commercial vendors, the data shows, but there is still a lot of home cookin' going on in hospital IT departments.
For example, the top five vendors of ambulatory EMRs at clinics owned or managed by hospitals control about 68% of the current market while the top four developers of patient billing systems have 73% of the market of installed applications, according to HIMSS Analytics.
Still, applications developed in house rank in the top five solutions for credit/collections, electronic claims, managed-care contract management, patient billing and registration solutions, according to the database.
David Brailer, M.D., who heads the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the CMS, has spoken of a digital divide opening between larger hospitals, which are better able to purchase and maintain healthcare IT, and smaller hospitals that are fiscally challenged by it.
Data on PACS are aggregated in the database by hospital size based on the number of beds, at groups of under 100, 100 to 199, 200 to 299, 300 to 399, 400 to 499 and 500 or more, according to Jennifer Horowitz, senior research manager at HIMSS Analytics.
The data on existing PACS installations reflect a concentration of the systems in larger hospitals, Horowitz said. But for those planning to add a PACS in the next two years, she said "the trends are fairly consistent across the size spectrum, with a little bit of a spike in the 100-to-299 bed (range)."