It seems that industries across the U.S. are progressing with the current trend of health care becoming increasingly technical and IT-focused. From private to public institutions, everything from electronic health records to cloud-based health information platforms to the latest in medical billing services are the norm in 21st century hospitals and practices, and industry giants are starting to catch up.

DoD takes proposals for EHRs
It's been nearly a year since the reports signaled that the U.S. Department of Defense would be taking proposals for an EHR modernization project. Since the DoD contains 9.6 million beneficiaries between the various agencies, this would be a large undertaking indeed, but a necessary one for the program to move forward.

Details show a vast overhaul of the DoD system
According to Healthcare IT News, the contract is worth up to $11 billion, and much of the IT overhaul will include replacing the program's existing health care IT systems. Some of the more notable aspects of this change will include the Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application, which is the current EHR system for the DoD. Other notable changes including the department's Composite Health Care System, and parts of the Theater Medical Information Program-Joint.

The DoD made it clear that they were not choosing a run-of-the-mill vendor for their health IT purposes.

"We are not just buying an off-the-shelf system; we're really looking to modernize how the department delivers health care," Christopher Miller, program executive officer for Defense Healthcare Management Systems, explained in a press statement announcing the RFP. "Ultimately, program success will result in continued improvement in patient safety, quality of care and readiness of forces worldwide."

Apple also interested in health IT
Tech giant Apple is dipping its toes in the waters of health IT as well, according to The Daily Briefing. Earlier this summer, they announced their latest venture HealthKit, which utilizes patient health data as well as fitness information that tracks individual progress in many realms of wellness.

Of course, as with any app, the user must give their permission to allow Apple to delve into personal health and fitness information. But as we have seen in the past, many Apple users are more than happy to hand over their info to be part of their successful and tech-driven campaign. Currently, Apple is in talks with Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins University and Mount Sinai Hospital – all leaders in medical research and health care innovation – to garner expertise in the field and come up with well-designed solutions to better public health.

In addition to the already stellar medical coding services available for practices, these new innovations are showing that the world may finally be heading in a promising direction when it comes to health IT.

EHRs on the rise for practices across the US
Although these industry behemoths are leading the charge in health IT, it seems that practices across the U.S. in many fields have already been adopting EHR systems in some form. A Medscape report released earlier this year showed that overall, EHR adoption rates increased from 50.3 to 61 percent in just one year. Some of the biggest specialties that included EHRs were in internal medicine/pediatrics, radiology, pathology, nephrology and dialysis.

If you are upgrading your system to include EHRs, using electronic medical billing can streamline processing even more so that you can focus more on the patient and less on administrative work.