The Boston Globe's story this weekend on Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush confirms what is becoming increasingly apparent: the EMR revolution is indeed a gold rush and federal incentives will define the agenda in Healthcare IT for the foreseeable future. A survey of news items in HIStalk also lists several stories supporting this conclusion.
If you compare the current environment to the pre-bubble days of the internet, you could assume we are in 1994. Netscape has not been launched yet, but there's a wide expectation of a revolution to come. Web 2.0 proponents will claim that the first wave of the internet did not produce productivity improvements comparable to those from Web 2.0 technologies. Similarly, skeptics might believe this gold rush will not truly transform healthcare IT, but it will set the stage for an eventual revolution in technology, patient engagement, and evidence-based medicine.
Whichever way you look at it, participants in the market will adapt their strategies in order to profit from this environment. News satire site, The Onion had a memorable headline a few years ago: "Recession Plagued Nation Demands New Bubble to Invest In." I think that call is being answered.