Health Care IT: Big Money or Big Hype?

Distributors and software companies continue to evangelize health care IT opportunities. But how quickly can new VARs generate profits after entering the health care vertical? Here are some stats, along with a look at some of the latest health care-related moves across the IT channel.

During the Avnet Technology Solutions Partner Summit near Denver, Colo., this week, Avnet indicated that its top VARs have found ways to raise their annual health care IT revenues by 40 percent or more. How? By focusing on Avnet's HealthPath solution path and university training.

Of course, Avnet has plenty of competition within the distribution market. Tech Data, for one, has launched a Healthcare IT Pavilion (to train partners) and Tech Data will also distribute Greenway Electronic Health Records' medical practice management software. Plus, independent software vendors like gloStream are hitting the road to meet VARs and promote their medical practice software.

Tech Data's Healthcare IT Pavilion

The pavilion features a "simulated doctor's office" that can demo and show off technology designed for medical facilities, big or small, along with a focus on EHR (electronic health records). Tech Data's Healthcare Specialized Business Unit is supporting the facility, too, with practice management software, document imaging, networking, video and unified communications, plus digital signage. You can check out some pictures here.

The following technologies are demoed:
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Mobility (PC carts, tablet PCs, ruggedized handhelds)
  • Practice Management Systems
  • Document Imaging
  • Unified Communications
  • Video Conferencing
  • Security
  • Digital Signage
  • Specialized Accessories (antimicrobial mouse pads, washable keyboards, etc...)

Tech Data and Greenway

Meanwhile, Tech Data has agreed to distribute Greenway's medical practice management software portfolio, dubbed PrimeSuite.

Here's the quick rundown of what PrimeSuite offers:
  • PrimeExchange –  Patient info and practice data is shared among practices and externally with affiliated healthcare organizations
  • PrimePatient – Web portal for patients to fill out and read health info, pay bills, and request appointments, etc...
  • PrimeResearch – Online resource for doctors with access to clinical trial and drug info to help patients
  • PrimeMobile – Mobile access to patient information, allows for work, notes and data to be synchronized via a handheld device.
  • PrimeRCM – A revenue cycle management solution for medical practices
Resellers have to be trained in the Greenway "PrimeTraining" curriculum before they go out and sell, but resellers are backed by Greenway's customer services, post and pre sales. This solution will be on display at Tech Data's new Healthcare IT Pavilion.

Money Matters

No doubt, government mandates have triggered more health care IT spending. But careful of all that hype. Instead of chasing dollars, study the market.

Two VARs you may want to emulate:
Like we said: There's lots of Health Care IT activity. But be careful. We're seeing and hearing from VARs that stumble in the market.

Additional reporting by Joe Panettieri. Follow The VAR Guy via RSS; Facebook; Identi.ca; Twitter; and via his Newsletter; Webcasts and Resource Center. Plus, visit www.VARtweet.com.


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