Patient identity. This one won't go away. We're all another year older and no closer, really, to a solution that protects privacy, assures authentication, enforces authorization, and doesn't require an IT forklift upgrade by the healthcare industry. The federal ONC is making some new baby steps in this area, but advocacy groups such as Patient Privacy Rights are watching the smallest of these gestures nervously, fearing that the very sort of biometric authentication that in theory could make healthcare ID fraud a thing of the past could also be used to harvest patients' PHI, subvert the intent of HIPAA, and exert control over the autonomy of independent physicians.
Bring-your-own-tech. Now that Amazon is delivering Microsoft desktops via a Chrome browser, the genie is well and truly out of the personal cloud bottle. Any healthcare worker who has a browser potentially is able to store PHI in the cloud. The opening BYOD debates were just skirmishes. The big battle, with Amazon and Dropbox in one corner and data loss prevention technology in the other, is bound to make its way to the square ring in 2014.
What polarizing topics are on your list? Meaningful use Stage 3? Clinical quality measures? Problem lists? Google Glass–distracted doctors? Zombie fax machines? Health information exchange business models? Please chime in below. One thing's for sure: there's no shortage of polarizing IT topics to kick around at this year's Christmas parties.