VoIP Systems

The Right Dose of Technology

According to a recent survey, about 55 percent of doctors in the U.S. use electronic medical records (EMRs) – up from about 27 percent in 2005. Part of that trend, of course, is that the U.S. government has mandated that doctors must use EMRs in the next two years or face less reimbursement from Medicare.

But the reality is that many doctors who have moved to EMRs are facing the same struggles that other business owners face on a daily business: They’re expected to do much more work with fewer resources, while providing reams of documentation to various entities in order to receive reimbursement for their services.

And it’s not just doctors that are facing these pressures. Every member of the health-care ecosystem is under pressure to communicate and provide as much information as possible about patients in order to collaborate. The point, of course, is that as doctors, hospitals, clinics, insurance providers, researchers and others in the health-care ecosystem communicate and share information more thoroughly, it will improve patient care, decrease the overall cost of health care and ultimately lead to better control over medical costs.

But getting to the point where members of the health care ecosystem can effectively share such information is difficult. For instance, the average hospital network runs more than 300 applications. Patient data is scattered across disparate systems in public and private entities, and it can be difficult and costly for health-care professionals to share vital medical, clinical and patient information.

According to a recent survey, the IP virtual private network (VPN) market in North America is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.5 percent over the next five years, and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) VPN services are expected to account for more than 80 percent of that growth. Meanwhile, members of the healthcare ecosystem are under increasing pressure over the next few years to implement services that will enable better electronic communications across secure networks.

These are just some of the findings in this month’s Heavy Reading IP Services Insider, "Healthcare Sector Turns to MPLS VPNs for a Data Cure." This report examines the MPLS VPN market, analyzing the health-care verticals that are most likely to utilize MPLS VPN over the next two years, as well drivers and challenges in the industry. It includes a comparative analysis of solutions available and examines the geographic landscape of the market and trends that are likely to occur in the industry over the next 18 to 24 months.

— Denise Culver, Research Analyst, Heavy Reading IP Services Insider

The report, Healthcare Sector Turns to MPLS VPNs for a Data Cure, is available as part of an annual subscription (six issues) to Heavy Reading IP Services Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900. For more information, or to subscribe, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/entvoip.

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