Before the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), VARs that provided data collection solutions were, basically, VARs that provided data collection solutions — to any vertical. HITECH, which gave healthcare providers the opportunity to fund electronic medical records (EMRs) systems through government reimbursements, also enabled some VARs to sell to — and to provide solutions to the unique market — of healthcare.
Gina Wilde, national manager, healthcare, at Datalogic, explains, before ARRA and HITECH, healthcare providers, many of which are nonprofit, struggled to find the budget to keep up with technology advances. HITECH provided the opportunity for them to afford solutions, but regardless of regulations, Wilde says the reduction in errors that can compromise patient safety — and subsequently reducing the associated lawsuits that had totaled about $77 billion per year — will ensure that healthcare continues to employ the technology. With rolling carts or wall-mounted stands that “bring the nurses’ station bedside,” recordkeeping is immediate via bar code scanner, recording data such as patient identification, medication administered, the time the patient took the medicine, and the dosage.
Wilde points out that requirements to employ EHRs took effect beginning in 2011, so for VARs, providing data collection solutions to healthcare — and learning who decision makers are, what features healthcare solutions need, and how to weather the typically longer budget approval process in the vertical — the market is relatively new.
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