10 PM NETWORK DECEMBER 2014 WWW.PMI.ORG
An increasing number of
venture capitalists are looking
to healthcare data as the
next growth market, funding
startups with portfolios
of potentially innovative
Funding for healthcare
technology firms by venture
capitalists rose 168 percent
by mid-year, compared with
the same period in 2013,
according to Rock Health.
Funding for biotechs, in
comparison, rose just 28
percent, according to Reuters.
Most of the healthcare data
interest is centered around
payment management and
“The line between what
is healthcare and what is
technology has become
blurred,” Robert Stimpson,
lead portfolio manager, Black
Oak Emerging Technology
Fund, told Reuters.
Apple, for instance, makes
up the second largest portion
of his tech portfolio. Over the
past year, the company has
hired several senior medical
to focus on product-development projects
involving sensor technology.
Devices delivered by these
initiatives could be used to
monitor the user’s health,
including indicators such as
blood-sugar levels and sleep
quality. —M. Wright
ened focus on productivity, efficiency
and better value for healthcare custom-
ers,” Ms. Connolly says.
Commit for the Long Haul
The upgrades promise new efficiencies,
but achieving them depends largely
on how well the projects are executed
and supported by stakeholders. EMR
implementations and IT system integration projects can cost millions of U.S.
dollars, and the payoff isn’t always clear
or immediate. End-to-end integration
of EMR systems can increase annual
operating costs initially, before generating long-term savings, HRI estimates. “It
can take a while to see the benefits,” Ms.
Connolly says. “Stakeholders have to
know that going in.”
Strong stakeholder support is para-
mount for the success of these projects,
notes Dan Furlong, PMP, project man-
agement officer, Medical University of
South Carolina (MUSC), Charleston,
South Carolina, USA. Mr. Furlong’s
team has spent the last two years replac-
ing MUSC’s old EMR system with a new
solution that can seamlessly connect its 80 clinics
across the state and four hospitals in Charleston.
The new system promises many efficiencies,
including reduced administrative time, fewer errors
related to data management and billing, and less
paperwork. From a quality-of-care standpoint, it will
enable doctors to eliminate repeat tests while ensuring they make decisions based on all of the relevant
information in a patient’s medical history.
“Our goal has been ‘one patient, one record,’” Mr.
Furlong says. But achieving that goal, and the efficiencies that come with it, hasn’t been easy.
Train or Go Home
At the start of the EMR project, the technology vendor challenged his team to get leaders
fully on board before implementation began. Thankfully, says Mr. Furlong, the executive team
understood the importance of the EMR upgrade and gave the team the needed support. “The
chief medical information officer, CIO and CEO were heavily involved with the project from
The cost of medical
insurance plans is
projected to rise
percent in 2015,
up from 6. 5 percent
projected for 2014.