Healthcare IT Continues to Grow, Despite Economy
Implementing clinical systems – particularly an electronic medical record (EMR) and computerized provider order entry systems (CPOE) – is the top healthcare information technology (IT) priority, say respondents to the 20th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey.
Healthcare IT Continues to Grow, Despite Economy Apr-08-09 20th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey Findings Show Commitment to Healthcare IT, Cite EMR, CPOE, Security, Financial Concerns as Top Issues CHICAGO — Implementing clinical systems – including an electronic medical record (EMR) and computerized provider order entry systems (CPOE) – was cited as the top priority for healthcare information technology (IT) professionals who responded to the 20th Annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Leadership Survey. Of the 304 respondents, 31 percent said the primary focus would be ensuring their organization has a full EMR. Another 17 percent said the primary focus would be the installation of a CPOE. Complete results of the Leadership Survey will be presented today at the 2009 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition, one of the largest conferences in the IT industry. Survey respondents’ answers also suggested the weakened economy has slowed the breakneck pace of growth but also that they and their organizations remain committed to healthcare IT. More than half of respondents (55 percent) said their IT budgets would increase, compared to 78 percent last year, and 42 percent said their staffing levels would increase, compared to 68 percent last year. AT A GLANCE * Implementing clinical systems – particularly an electronic medical record (EMR) and computerized provider order entry systems (CPOE) – is the top healthcare information technology (IT) priority, say respondents to the 20th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey. * 41 percent say at least one of their facilities has a fully functioning EMR, up from 32 percent two years ago. * Healthcare IT budgets and staff continue to grow, although at a slower place due to the weak economy. * Security issues remain a top concern, with one in four reporting a security breach in the past year. Nearly half say they plan to implement single sign-on technology to address security Many respondents completed the research prior to the Feb. 17 signing of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), which aims to prompt the widespread adoption of healthcare IT and enable electronic exchange of health information through financial incentives. To assess the impact that the ARRA will have on IT spending, HIMSS is gathering additional information from survey respondents. ―The economy is affecting all sectors, healthcare IT included, but the good news is healthcare IT still continues to grow,‖ said Charles E. Christian, HIMSS board chair. ―With the passage of the ARRA, the resulting billions of dollars intended to stimulate healthcare IT should certainly impact how respondents view their budget options.‖ As in past years, security issues remain a top concern and 84 percent of respondents said their organization actively assesses security risks. One in four (25 percent) said they’d had a security breach in the past year. To address the risks, nearly half (49 percent) said they plan to purchase single sign-on technology in the next year. Currently, 31 percent said they have single sign-on technology. Other security technologies a third or more respondents said they plan to purchase include e-mail encryption; biometric technologies, intrusion prevention/detection service and data encryption. Currently, 62 percent use e-mail encryption, 18 percent use biometric technologies, 75 percent use intrusion prevention/detection service and 56 percent use data encryption. Other findings of the 20th Leadership Survey include: * Respondents were most likely to indicate that IT can have an impact by reducing medical errors (38 percent) and improving quality outcomes (24 percent). * While 29 percent said sustaining financial viability was the key business objective at their organization, 24 percent identified patient safety and quality of care as the single key business objective. * More than half (54 percent) said financial considerations was the business issue that would most impact on healthcare. * Lack of adequate financial resources was identified by 28 percent of respondents as the top barrier to successful implementation of IT. Although this has been named as the top barrier for nine years straight, the percentage continues to climb – last year it was cited by 26 percent of respondents and the year before by 20 percent. * An overwhelming majority (84 percent) said there is a strong level of integration between IT strategies and overall organizational strategy: 37 percent said their IT strategic plan is a component of the organization’s strategic plan and 47 percent said the plans were separate, but integrated. Twenty years of HIMSS Leadership Surveys have tracked the shifts in healthcare IT implementation and mindset. Steady progress has been documented. For instance, the 1995 survey asked respondents about their plans for implementing an EMR – what was then called a computer-based patient record system – and just 26 percent of respondents said they had invested in software and equipment (although not necessarily implemented it), while 74 percent of respondents essentially hadn’t even begun. Perhaps not fully understanding the complexities of the issue, 87 percent of survey respondents thought physicians would be able to share computerized patient information in a nationwide system by 2005. This year 41 percent said they have a fully operational EMR in at least one facility in their organization, up from 32 percent two years ago. Seventeen percent said they have a fully operational EMR throughout their entire organization. More than a third (37 percent) said they’d begun to install EMR in at least one facility. The self-administered Web-based Leadership Survey was completed by 304 participants between Feb. 1, 2009 and March 6, 2009. Those surveyed represent 250 unique healthcare organizations and nearly 700 hospitals throughout the United States. The average bed size of the hospitals was 519. About 80 percent of respondents said they are senior IT executives at their organizations, and 62 percent are corporate chief information officers (CIOs). About HIMSS The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the healthcare industry's membership organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of healthcare information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded in 1961 with offices in Chicago, Washington D.C., Brussels, and other locations across the United States and Europe, HIMSS represents more than 20,000 individual members and over 300 corporate members that collectively represent organizations employing millions of people. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare public policy and industry practices through its advocacy, educational and professional development initiatives designed to promote information and management systems’ contributions to ensuring quality patient care. Visit http://www.himss.org for more information. Source: HIMSS To read more about uses of convenience biometrics, please visit findBIOMETRICS.com