Driven by cost controls and clinical effectiveness, software for bed management, enterprise resource planning and financial modeling is in high demand among U.S. hospitals.

Those are some of the findings from a new HIMSS Analytics report that profiles 26 types of software being used at more than 5,000 hospitals across the country. Bed management, ERP and financial modeling technologies were observed as notable opportunities for health IT vendors, having both a maturing market penetration status and an accelerated projected sales volume, the firm notes.

Two types of financial decision support apps--contract management and financial data warehousing/mining--have the next best growth opportunities at the nation's healthcare facilities. 

The popularity of the 26 apps, which are divided into six categories--business intelligence, financial decision support, general financials, human resources, revenue cycle management, and supply chain management--were determined by their frequency of installation at the hospitals. Medical necessity checking content apps, which fall into the revenue cycle management category, are classified in the report as "mature" in terms of market penetration with "an accelerating projected sales growth."

The report concludes that relatively low market penetration for many of the applications “suggests that opportunities for vendors in this area are very positive."

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