News | August 4, 2011

Small IT Firms A Remedy For Health IT Transition Challenges, New CompTIA White Paper Says

Unique expertise positions them to be important partner, barriers could limit participation

Small and medium-sized technology businesses have the expertise, knowledge, and skill sets to help the U.S. healthcare industry advance its use of new information technology (IT) tools, but barriers may keep many of them on the sidelines, according to a new white paper published this week by CompTIA, the non-profit association for the IT industry.

"Federal policies should reflect the important role small IT service providers can play in the health IT transition and create avenues for them to fully participate," said Elizabeth Hyman, vice president, public advocacy, CompTIA, and co-author of the white paper.

"Doing so will help to expand adoption, particularly by small medical providers, and increase the quality of care to patients," she continued.

"Participation by small IT providers will also help drive job creation and retention, keeping America's small business backbone as an economic engine for generations to come."

The white paper, Health IT: The Essential Role of Small IT Solution Providers, was published here this week in conjunction with CompTIA Breakaway, the premier annual event for the IT channel, and the inaugural CompTIA Tech Summit, on Thursday, Aug. 4. The summit includes a keynote speech by Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Industry estimates project spending in the healthcare IT market at more than $34B this year. CompTIA's Second Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities study found that about one half of healthcare practices surveyed expected to increase IT expenditures in the next year.

The CompTIA white paper calls for the IT industry to be included as a partner in the implementation of health IT.

"This partnership will not only allow for more widespread adoption of health IT among small medical providers, but will also allow healthcare providers to continue their focus on patients and avoid dedicating staff to new information technology systems," the paper states.

While IT solution providers have the ability to play a major role in helping the healthcare industry implement health IT, a variety of barriers exist that prevent them from entering the market in large numbers. These barriers include:

  • A lack of resources for retraining IT professionals;
  • Fully integrating IT professionals in the assistance available to healthcare providers through the HIT Regional Extension Centers; and
  • Data breach provisions that place unfair burdens on IT professionals.

Federal policies should allow medical providers to focus on patients and open the door for IT solution providers to focus on making the transition as efficient and effective as possible, the white paper concluded. The complete white paper is available on the CompTIA Public Advocacy website.

About CompTIA
CompTIA is the voice of the world's information technology (IT) industry. As a non-profit trade association advancing the global interests of IT professionals and companies, CompTIA is the recognized authority for IT education and credentials and the primary advocate for IT businesses and workers. Through its foundation, CompTIA also enables disadvantaged populations to gain the skills they need for employment in the IT industry. CompTIA's vision of the IT landscape is shaped by more than 25 years of global perspective and more than 2,000 members and 1,000 business partners. For more information, visit www.comptia.org

CompTIA's Public Advocacy group focuses on a broad array of issues affecting the IT industry, with particular emphasis on representing the interests of small and mid-sized IT companies and entrepreneurs, supporting an innovation and competitiveness agenda and addressing secure technology issues such as cybersecurity, data breach, privacy and more. For more information, visit http://www.comptia.org/publicpolicy.aspx.

SOURCE: CompTIA

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