Partnerships are key to bending the healthcare cost curve

Technology solution providers and developers such as MEDITECH are under pressure to show that their digital solutions can increase efficiency and effectiveness.


Health continues to represent a growing percentage of GDP. “We all need to reduce this,” says Helen Waters of Meditech.

Years of development and implementation of electronic health record systems have yet to reduce the nation’s healthcare expenditures. And it’s no surprise there’s a growing demand and urgency for digital systems to start having an impact.

The technology behind these health record systems is advancing rapidly, supporting advanced computing capabilities such as genomic information and population health and clinical decision support features.

But healthcare organizations are under increasing pressure to bend the cost curve, and technology providers must increasingly partner with these innovative systems, says Helen Waters, executive vice president of MEDITECH, a developer of electronic records systems.

This year, the company was recognized by KLAS Research as KLAS’ Best for Recording Solutions.

The notion of partnership is a theme for Waters, who believes that such relationships are important not only to contain healthcare costs, but also to improve the delivery of healthcare to patients across the sector. His organization “partners with the industry as a whole – not just our customers – to learn how to improve healthcare in the markets we serve, and certainly in our own country.”

Trends in medical care costs

MEDITECH has been providing health technology products for 50 years and has seen the inexorable rise in healthcare prices, especially in recent years. Industry must work together to bend the cost curve as there is increasing pressure to reduce annual spending on healthcare services.



“When we started meaningful use (in 2009), something like 17.2% of gross domestic product was spent on health care,” she says. “We all have to reduce this; but we are now over 19% (of GDP). I’m fairly certain that the cost of technology and electronic health records, given the maturity of the segment…should come down. And, in fact, we’ve seen the cost curve go up. So it’s confusing, but it’s frustrating for us, honestly, sometimes it’s not a conversation people want to have. »

Cost is not the only challenge facing healthcare, and IT developers must join an industry-wide effort to reverse current negative trends.

“You have, across the board, mounting cost pressures that are exorbitant, stagnant or declining reimbursements, and we have economic uncertainty globally,” Waters notes. “In the United States, we have inflationary fears and a recession that affect health care. We have a shortage of front line clinicians and nurses, and IT resources that everyone is fighting for. And after the pandemic funding… you have systems with staggering losses that need to be managed.

And the industry needs a realignment to focus on new imperatives, such as a renewed focus on patient engagement and taking steps to support clinicians by reducing workloads and improving their ability to deliver better care, through the power of automation.



“I’m thinking of the financial challenges many healthcare systems face today and the pinch that exists,” adds Adam Gale, CEO of KLAS Research. “It shows how important it will be to provide great long-term delivery, great tools at an economical price that (vendors) can work with, so that has been a strength of MEDITECH.

New initiatives

For example, MEDITECH is working with Google to bring order and search capabilities to patient health information in the EHR as well as the vast amounts of medical information that clinicians must sift through to find relevant case information. that they manage.

“We have extensive experience with sophisticated monitoring, control, and clinical decision support capabilities,” Waters notes. “But could we look at the real problem facing healthcare today regarding clinician burnout and the massive amounts of data facing doctors and nurses? And could we work with Google and take their expertise, which is clearly well-established in organizing information at scale.. and work with them on a medically-appropriate search capability, so that we can make information more accessible and exploitable, and do this in the folder? »

Similarly, MEDITECH launched its enhanced EHR system “Expanse Genomics,” which the company says offers a new way to collect genetic information, combining it with tools and resources that enable clinicians to make more clinical decisions. enlightened for patients. The new system presents genomic data to clinicians as they reflect on treatment decisions and augments the raw data with other tools and information that can help enable more informed treatment strategies. Physicians can receive pharmacogenetic alerts through built-in drug data integration from First Databank, a drug and medical device database provider. The EHR also allows doctors to order genetic tests from the system.

Development work for MEDITECH solutions has been done in partnership with a wide range of customers, from large organizations to small rural installations, who benefit from transparent communication with developers.

“Our customers’ success is important to us,” says Water. “It’s about making sure you have a base that feels you’re listening, taking action, delivering for them.”



The company’s approach consists of interacting with all decision-makers and users within organizations. “There are very few decisions that are made by a CIO, a doctor or a nurse,” she notes. Technology decisions “can be made holistically around concepts like population health management, like what do we do next to deploy and consider machine learning and AI algorithms, and how do they help best our organization?

“MEDTECH is a development-focused company that tends not to get too far ahead,” says Gale of KLAS. “And so, if culturally, they tend to do what they say they’re going to do.”



Related Content

MEDITECH video: Communicate at the pace of life with Expanse Patient Connect


MEDITECH Guidebook: Expanding Patient Care

Your nurses and therapists want to move without limits, where they are needed.

Now you can give them full mobile access to enterprise-wide EHRs, a unified user experience, and clinical decision support. Plus, Expanse Patient Care’s web-based tools are intuitive, so clinicians can focus on the patient, not the technology.

When nurses and therapists practice with the smart devices they already know and love, it’s a win-win situation for them and their patients.

Nurses and therapists can focus more on care when they:

  • Grab a tablet to perform transfers, review patient education, and discuss discharge plans, right at the bedside.
  • Navigate the personalized folder and document them when they are with patients, not later at the nurses station.
  • Administer medication without lugging disruptive technology around patient rooms.

DOWNLOAD Brochure


Press Release: Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare Launches with MEDITECH Expanse Genomics

Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare (GVMH) is the first organization to deploy Expanse Genomics, MEDITECH’s revolutionary, integrated, end-to-end solution that enables providers to access patient genetic data at the point of care…Read more


MEDITECH VIDEO: Expanse – Genomic data integrated into the EHR

Ramon J. Espinoza