Will Nashville be the nation's next health IT hub?

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Nashville, Tenn., is positioned to become a national leader in health IT but first must overcome existing challenges.

That's based on a new report by Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, which assesses Nashville's current positioning on health IT.

Authors of the report said the Nashville area, as a national center of hospital management, possesses important expertise relevant to health IT, in areas like clinical care, disease management, behavioral health and wellness, diagnostic testing, data management and the management of physician transactions.

However, the region faces challenges. For instance, the Nashville area's university-based medical research does not heavily focus on IT, its solid medical and health business workforce remains thin on software competencies, and the area's emerging tech ecosystem hasn't fully fused efforts to sustain small-firm growth in health IT, the report's authors said.

Given those strengths and weaknesses, the report found that metropolitan Nashville is positioned to leverage its strengths in health management in developing a unique HIT cluster.

"We really think Nashville needs to be put on the map for health IT," Scott Andes, lead author of the report, said, according to The Tennessean.

The report's authors recommended the following actions by which Nashville — and other metropolitan areas — strengthen their health IT ecosystem.

  • Expand the region's innovation infrastructure
  • Build the health IT skills base
  • Deepen the health IT ecosystem

 

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