This post takes a look at three key trends Dell is keeping an eye on in 2013. 

Increased mobility for clinicians, with an extra helping of security

Providers will have to get serious about security in 2013, especially with strengthened HIPAA rules now in effect and the Office for Civil Rights increasing its focus on audits. Whether providers embrace BYOD or implement an enterprise-based tablet strategy, securing the data at the infrastructure level (not on easily lost endpoint devices) is critical. The trick lies in implementing security solutions that work on both a technical and a human level.

More providers move to the cloud

The cloud isn’t just a secure place to store data – it’s the ideal platform for managing applications and enabling collaboration. Providers see the advantages of moving to the cloud as they work to extend their existing IT capabilities. Payers and life sciences companies are seeing the benefits too as they streamline processes to more efficiently manage data and drive innovation.

Big data may finally lead to big insights

Healthcare is still far behind other industries in creating integrated, longitudinal, client-focused databases that can serve as the foundation for in-depth analytics. Providers are challenged not only by the quantity of the data, but the need to ensure real-time access and mobility throughout the enterprise and beyond. For visionaries who make the decision to strategically change the way they look at information in 2013, the cost and quality benefits of their data assets will be reaped for years to come.

A few other issues to watch: I think it’s safe to say we’ll see continued debate about Meaningful Use deadlines and whether they are too aggressive given the current lack of interoperability standards. There will likely be more consolidation in the competitive EHR market. And telehealth services will expand to help fill gaps caused by physician shortages or geographic barriers.

Change is constant in healthcare and the Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences team is experiencing a few changes as well. After six years in his current role, Jamie Coffin, Ph.D., will be transitioning to a leadership role outside of Dell. I am delighted to rejoin the team and I wish Jamie well.

Under Jamie’s leadership, Dell has become the leading healthcare IT services provider in the world with a strong team that includes more than 13,000 clinicians and IT professionals serving healthcare and life sciences customers worldwide. Perhaps Jamie’s greatest legacy is the creation of our Children’s Cancer Care initiatives. With a multimillion dollar, multiyear commitment of technology solutions and team member engagement, these initiatives are helping power clinical researchers and doctors around the world to:

Jamie will remain at Dell through the end of March to help ensure a smooth transition, so I hope you’ll take a moment to join me in thanking him for his many contributions to the healthcare IT industry. 

I also invite you to contribute to the ongoing conversation on IT trends. Post your comments below, stop by our booth at HIMSS 2013 (#4427, Hall F) or watch for more information soon about Dell’s Healthcare Think Tank, which is slated for March 18. We’ll take a deeper dive into some of the trends outlined above and I look forward to the dialogue!