By Kelly Baig
In his keynote address at the Institute for Health Technology Transformation’s Health IT Summit in Boston, Scott Lundstrom, group VP at IDC Health Insights made some startling predictions:

  •  Scott shared that IDC predicts that 50% of hospitals will go out of business within the next 10 years
  • Scott identified a number of factors which are combining to put pressure on hospitals and health IT, including ACO and MU
  • Scott further stated that the ability to manage data effectively will be the deciding factor in a hospital’s ability to deal with these challenges

In short, as compliance requirements begin to ratchet up this year, the hospitals which will suffer – and potentially go out of business – are those which do not have a modern foundation for data management in place. Most hospitals are straining under the weight of managing data with outdated, siloed systems that are expensive, burdensome to manage, and do not protect the majority of the applications and data in a hospital.

On average, BridgeHead estimates that a typical mid-size hospital has something in the range of 300 different types of applications – and that only about 15 of these are effectively protected with data management. Why? Because older, traditional approaches to data management are not designed to protect and manage the types of data which most hospital applications create. Data such as is created by Horizon Patient Folders (HPF) and MEDITECH SCA, for example, as was previously described in this blog.

When Should Hospitals Start to Get Serious About Data Management?

2014 will be an inflection point in health IT data management and hospital cloud, according to many. A leap-frog advancement in health IT systems is required to enable hospitals to stay in business and leverage patient data to its fullest value, as is required to meet government regulations.

Health IT professionals are well advised to begin planning now.

According to IDC’s Scott, the consequences of poor planning for data management will start to show up when providers begin to transition into Accountable Care. ACO requires that hospitals have the ability to leverage patient data to its full benefit; having that data under management is the first step in leveraging its value. MU stage 2 requirements and audits will also start to reveal shortcomings in data management.
Hospitals which find that they lack modern data management have a few options for addressing this gap, which include:

  • Standardize on a modern data management platform to manage all of the data in their hospital.
  • Ensure that their platform enables all hospital data to be managed with a consolidated solution approach, for best access to managed data down the road – such as for ACO and MU requirements. This is also the best approach for lowering costs and administrative burdens.
  • Consider hospital cloud solutions as a method for alleviating pressure on local storage and floor space.
  • Solutions for cloud storage, cloud disaster recovery, and cloud applications can all assist health IT in modernizing their data management approach more quickly and easily.

According to Scott: “Organizations that remediate and plug-and-patch in a traditional model are going to fail. You can’t remediate your core stack and launch a patient portal and do remote visits all at once. You can have partners do that. To think that we can make modest, incremental changes to a system that is already letting us down is naïve.”

If you suspect that your approach to healthcare data management has critical gaps and is likely to let down your hospital, now is the time to take steps to change your approach. BridgeHead offers storage and system audit services, to help identify critical gaps in your approach and design effective solutions for your path ahead. For information, inquire about our Services and reach out to us at for more details.