By Kobi Margolin

Historically, the healthcare industry has been slow to adopt new information technology. For example, it’s only been in recent years that hospitals and physician practices have abandoned antiquated paper charts for electronic health records (EHRs)—a lot of that adoption can be attributed to government incentive programs like Meaningful Use.

Yet, not all provider organizations have been slow to implement new technology. Those that are early adopters have reaped the clinical and business rewards: A recent study conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services and Verizon and featured in a September 16 InformationWeek Healthcare article showed, “Only 27 percent of healthcare organizations proactively seek to get first-mover advantage, compared with 36 percent that buy new technology after others have proven its benefits and 35 percent that wait until something has become well established.”

“We found… organizations that adopt technologies earlier have significantly larger growth rates, year over year, than followers or cautious organizations in all industries, and the same things applied to healthcare,” said Chris Davis, senior solutions architect at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, in the article.

With our health system currently undergoing the fastest transformation in our lifetime, will these results hold true in years to come? As in any transformation there will no doubt be winners and losers. So, it stands to reason that what the above study found will become much more pronounced in the coming years. Early technology adopters are likely to weather the storm of change much better and come out strong. Laggards, on the other hand, may find that as new payment and delivery models pass them by they can no longer compete and risk business extinction.

Recognizing these trends, some programs across the country are attempting to help healthcare organizations accelerate innovation and new technology adoption. We recently were among seven innovative technology vendors selected for the New York Digital Health Accelerator – a program that does exactly that. In our discussions with some of the largest health systems in New York we indeed are finding that the winds of change are creating new waves of innovation and early technology adoption. This is of course great news for us as an innovative clinical analytics technology vendor but the bigger picture here is that we all stand to benefit from a smarter and nimbler healthcare system – a system that quickly learns and improves.

Analytics technology was highly adopted among healthcare survey participants at 81 percent, but a smaller portion had “extensively” implemented the technology. While the study focused on only large health systems, we believe that organizations of all sizes, even solo practitioners, can benefit from clinical analytics technology.