When you think health care, Nashville comes to mind as the nation’s leader.

The health care industry has long been one of the major drivers of Nashville’s economy. In 2014, health care contributed nearly $39 billion to Nashville’s regional economy, according to a study conducted last year by the Business and Economic Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University and the Nashville Health Care Council.

Yet as the health care sector rapidly evolves with changes in delivery and payment structures – not to mention expanded access to insurance coverage – the industry is under pressure to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of care.

That’s where health care information technology (health care IT) fits in. In a new report, The Brookings Institution states that information technology “has disrupted nearly every other sector of the economy” and “its most disruptive opportunities are yet to come in health care, a field that has lagged behind in adopting IT and data-driven innovation.” 

The Brookings report finds that Nashville – with its deep roots in the health care space – is uniquely positioned to take advantage and lead the way in health care IT innovation.

Already, there’s been substantial growth in health care IT in Nashville.

Brookings found in the recent report that jobs in the Nashville health care IT sector grew 15.4 percent between 2010 and 2014 – more than five percentage points faster than the national growth rate for health care IT employment.

Equally as important: Health care IT’s economic output in the Nashville region expanded 27 percent from 2010 to 2014, or nearly double the national rate for this sector.

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