Bed management a hot opportunity in hospital software market

Bed-management applications represent one of the hottest software markets in HIMSS Analytics' new report, "Essentials of the U.S. Hospital IT Market."

The report profiles 24 applications in five operational areas--general finance, financial decision support, human resources, supply chain management and revenue cycle management-- and rates their level of maturity in the market.

With a low rate of market penetration, bed-management software represents a hot opportunity for vendors, the report says.

This software "tracks when beds are available and creates notifications to cleaning staff to prepare the bed for the next patient, and then notifies registration/administration when the bed/room has been cleaned and is available for the next patient," according to the report. These applications hold the potential to improve workflow and increase patient satisfaction by boosting the organization's ability to track and locate available beds.

"As hospital administrators grapple with ways to maximize limited resources, bed management applications are a logical answer for many facilities looking at ways to improve the flow of inpatients throughout their facility," Lorren Pettit, vice president of research for HIMSS Analytics, says in an announcement.

As expected, the executive summary shows market penetration levels follow the adoption levels in the create the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM), with lab and radiology software from Stage 1 showing nearly 90 percent adoption, and penetration falling in subsequent stages that fewer hospitals have achieved.

Hospital and practice executives expect more patients in lower-reimbursement outpatient care and more spending on health IT this year, according to a survey by Charlotte, N.C.-based Premiere, a healthcare purchasing alliance. With lower inpatient reimbursement rates, hospitals are looking for every improvement in efficiency they can find.

Hospitals have room to cut costs in their supply chains simply by being more judicious with necessary supplies, Richard Kunnes, M.D., CEO of the Sevenex Group, told those attending Becker's Hospital Review's annual meeting earlier this month. In some instances, he said hospitals can avoid purchasing some products altogether, such as floor disinfectant and surgical shoe covers that don't actually reduce the rate of infection.

FierceHealthIT also recently reported that old communications technologies cost hospitals $8.3 billion every year.

To learn more:
- find the announcement
- here's the executive summary

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