As healthcare undergoes unprecedented transformation, demands for more robust health information technology (IT) solutions are taking center stage. Recent market data reveals health IT is growing, with a projected global market size of $829.2 billion in 2026, up from $319.2 billion in 2021. 

What’s behind this explosive growth? Several factors—regulatory mandates, the need to contain patient healthcare costs, and the rapid adoption of Telehealth and remote monitoring—are a few areas pushing health IT investment forward. Another driver is the recognition among health systems that adopting advanced health IT systems promises to deliver a significant return on investment (ROI).

Every vendor has needed to strategize how they’ll capture a piece of the health IT market pie. For many, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have been a logical way to expand their offerings to capture more market share. Although healthcare M&A activity and aggregate transaction volume fell in 2020, the market set new records in 2021.

However, not all acquisitions go smoothly. Some vendors may close an acquisition that looks good on paper to buy into a space but find that issues of technical incompatibility or black box deployments impair progress.

But there is a better way, as shown by the TigerConnect acquisition of alarm management and event notification solution provider, Critical Alert, in late 2020. An intelligent integration strategy focused on compatible, cloud-based solutions is instrumental to M&A success.

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Why Many Post-M&A Systems Integrations Fail

According to the Deloitte Future of M&A Trends Survey, nearly 60% of companies are exploring M&A activity to transform the business, add game-changing capabilities, expand or balance their offerings portfolio. To achieve these goals in health IT, integration between the acquirer and target is a must.

However, Bain & Company’s research has found that 70% of systems integrations fail at the beginning of the acquisition process. The firm has also defined the characteristics of the most successful acquirers. Of note, Bain’s analysis has found that the most capable acquirers have a clear integration hypothesis from the start. That is, they know whether they’re going to choose one set of systems from either the acquirer or target, use a mix of both systems or maintain completely separate systems. Additionally, acquirers pursue quick integrations to achieve synergies faster and retain talent while ensuring an adequate integration budget.

When acquirers in the health IT space don’t have a clear integration hypothesis upfront, they’re more likely to encounter challenges. The result may be an offering set of disparate systems that don’t provide the transformative value that today’s healthcare organizations need. Instead of driving innovation and efficiency, these fundamentally incompatible solution sets may stand in the way of operational progress for healthcare organizations.

What’s more, disparate systems increase the administrative burden on physicians and nurses. According to research published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, such unnecessary and repetitive manual work can cause burnout, diminishing the quality of care and safety. Today’s care providers face enough pressures and don’t need systems integration issues, creating unnecessary headaches.

Creating a Single, Integrated Solution in the Cloud

TigerConnect recently acquired Critical Alert, a provider of enterprise-grade middleware products. Critical Alert’s core solution allowed healthcare systems to combine alarm and event management, nurse call, medical device interoperability, and workflow analytics. Through this acquisition, TigerConnect extended its clinical collaboration and collaboration solutions portfolio to offer the advanced TigerConnect Alarm Management & Event Notification functionality. 

What made this approach work? This rapid integration was possible because both the TigerConnect platform and Critical Alert products operate in the cloud, making merging source code significantly more straightforward. With this strategy, TigerConnect bypassed common integration challenges associated with:

  • Technological Incompatibilities that arise when the target’s technologies rely on older approaches, such as on-premises applications, and outmoded architecture
  • Clunky, Black-box Deployments that are expensive, difficult to use, and have proven challenging to scale

The integration is a breakthrough solution that brings together data from multiple sources to deliver actionable intelligence to care team members:

  • Nurse Call: Empowers each unit to configure workflows and route context-rich alarms to the right care team members based on assignments, availability, or priority 
  • Physiological Monitoring*: Consumes alerts from monitors, adds context, disseminates to correct team members, and supports the escalation of critical alerts (*NOTE: Regulated device alarms currently must be managed on-prem.)
  • Critical Lab Results: Integrates lab data from electronic health records (EHR) and laboratory information systems (LIS) and routes data to the right caregiver as soon as possible
  • Smart Beds: Offers insight into bed configuration, settings, and alarms, along with an immediate call back into the room to provide patient instructions and assurance
  • Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS): Provides real-time staff tracking to assign nurse call notifications based on proximity, along with patient tracking to address sentinel events and support care planning

Additionally, TigerConnect integrated Critical Alert’s workflow with its existing care team collaboration solution. Through this integration, healthcare systems can route alerts and alarms to the right caregivers and provide context to help clinical teams prioritize responses while reducing unnecessary clinical interruptions. Another added-value feature is advanced analytics about patient behavior that identify high-need patients to support more balanced workloads for care teams.

A Powerful, Next-Generation Collaboration Platform

With healthcare IT expected to experience a 21% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the next few years, the market is experiencing a boom. Healthcare cloud IT solutions are leading the way, with global market size tracking to reach $64.7 billion in 2025. As more healthcare systems generate large quantities of internal records—and add even more through Telehealth, mHealth, and wearable devices—the resulting large data volumes will propel cloud computing forward.

Making a move to cloud-native solutions helps health systems stay ahead of the curve. The TigerConnect Alarm Management & Event Notification solution gets critical information into the hands of the right clinical team members at the right time.  

Because TigerConnect Alarm Management & Event Notification is cloud-based, it can integrate with various systems to consume alerts, enrich them with patient-specific data, and intelligently route alerts and drive action. Opportunities to deliver better clinical care, achieve new operational efficiencies, improve patient outcomes, and increase patient satisfaction are all within reach.

TigerConnect Alarm Management & Event Notification can transform how your health system collaborates and communications. Contact us for a demo and envision the evolution of your organization.

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