The need to better track and manage patients across acute, ambulatory and home care settings is a key driver of the rapid adoption of new digital health systems by payers and providers, according to a report from Frost & Sullivan.

While the use of electronic health records (EHRs) is critical to improving data capture, EHRs are often siloed data sources that lack the interoperability and functionality needed for full coordination among dispersed patient care teams, the study shows.

IT products that allow various functions related to proactive patient care management are expected to grow significantly over the next six years, Frost & Sullivan says.

"Care coordination is an expansion of the traditional care management function assumed mostly by payers,” Nancy Fabozzi, Frost & Sullivan principal connected health analyst, said in a statement. “Hospitals and physicians will increasingly look to deploy new IT to manage this function as they take on more risk.”

Care coordination software’s end-use applications span a range of health IT solutions. To enable team-based care and ensure efficient use of healthcare resources, care coordination software should be flexible and extensible, with corresponding accountability, transparency of information, and ability to provide analysis and reporting among key stakeholders, the report says.

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