The 2017 AHA Environmental Scan: Information Technology & eHealth

  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act has a new series of administrative transactions standards that enable hospitals and health plans to communicate with one another electronically. While significant savings have been already achieved, it is estimated that an additional $8 billion annually could be saved by all health care organizations (providers, health plans and clearinghouses) if health care organizations fully implement these standards. Ninety percent of this $8 billion in savings would accrue to the provider sector (which includes hospitals, physicians, home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities and other providers).1
  • In 2013, 16 percent of consumers said they had at least one health app on their mobile device. Two years later, 32 percent said they did. The Health Research Institute also found that millennials, who are enthusiastically embracing wearables and health apps, prefer virtual communication for health interactions.2
  • Data breaches are still a significant issue, since the number of breaches increased 23 percent and attackers were responsible for the majority of these breaches. In 2015, 60 percent of all targeted attacks struck small- and medium-sized organizations. These organizations often have fewer resources to invest in security, and many are still not adopting basic best practices like blocking executable files and screensaver email attachments.3
  • Eighty-seven percent of respondents to the 2015 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey indicated that information security had increased as a business priority at their organizations over the past year, resulting in improvements to security posture, such as improvements to network security capabilities, endpoint protection, data loss prevention, disaster recovery and information technology continuity.4
  • Sixty-two percent of consumers say they value device security more than ease of use. Devices not embedded with security features — especially consumer-oriented applications or wearables — may be at a disadvantage.2

2017 AHA Environmental Scan

Download the complete 2017 AHA Environmental Scan PDF sponsored by B. E. Smith.


  1. “Administrative Simplification Strategies Offer Opportunities to Improve Patient Experience and Reduce Costs,” TrendWatch, American Hospital Association, Janurary 2016.
  2. “Top Health Industry Issues of 2016: Thriving in the New Health Economy,” Health Research Institute, PricewaterhouseCoopers, December 2015.
  3. ISTR20 Internet Security Threat Report, Vol. 20, Symantec, April 2015.
  4. “2015 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey Executive Summary,” HIMSS, June 2015.