Various government initiatives and increasing IT budgets are encouraging providers to adopt health IT programs, the 25th Annual 2014 HIMSS Leadership Survey reveals.
The initiatives by the US Federal Government to accelerate the use of information technology in healthcare organizations has been the key driver in increasing health IT adoption, according to the results of the 25th Annual 2014 HIMSS Leadership Survey released at the HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition 2014, in Orlando.
The survey, reflecting the opinions of mid-level and high-level decision makers from more than 650 US hospitals, reveals that more than 90 percent of survey respondents have already qualified for Stage 1 Meaningful Use and 71 percent expect to qualify for Stage 2 requirements by 2014. This surprisingly runs counter to the prevailing notion that many providers are finding it difficult to confirm to Meaningful Use Stage 2.
An overwhelming 92 percent have replied that they expect to complete their conversion to ICD-10 (tenth version of the International Classification of Diseases, a medical classification list released by the World Health Organization) by the end of October 2014.
"If we didn't reach Stage 2 Meaningful Use, it would be embarrassing," said Anupam Goel, Vice President of clinical information for Advocate Healthcare, who attended a press briefing on the survey. "ICD-10 is something where if we didn't get it right, we could go bankrupt."
“It is refreshing to see how much progress providers have made in the past 25 years when it comes to integrating health IT into their patient care strategies,” said Lorren Pettit, Vice President of Market Research for HIMSS Analytics. “It is clear that healthcare reform initiatives are paying off and we hope that these findings will validate the ROI of health IT so that we may continue down this path of a more cost-effective, efficient healthcare system that engages the patient.”
The survey focused on many issues crucial to health IT leaders such as IT security, IT priorities, challenges in technology adoption and IT staffing & budgeting plans. While 65 percent of the respondents reported that IT budgets in their organizations have increased, which facilitated transition into paperless healthcare settings, they have also indicated that lack of financial resources is a key barrier in implementing health IT systems.
When asked what drives their organization’s health IT implementation, 25 percent of respondents identified sustaining financial viability as their main business objective, followed by improving operational efficiencies (16 percent), improving patient care/quality of care (14 percent) and achieving Meaningful Use (14 percent).
For most organizations (21 percent) physician-supporting systems such as Clinical Decision Support Solutions (CDSS), Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) and documentation remains the topmost clinical IT focus, followed by ensuring fully functional EHR (13 percent) and linking clinical systems with quality measures and outcomes (13 percent).
HIMSS members continue to repose their faith in the positive impact of health IT systems. Improved clinical and quality outcomes (37 percent), improving patient safety by reducing medical errors (18 percent) and standardized care by allowing for the use of evidence-based medicine (13 percent) were the most cited benefits of health IT.
The increasing complexity of IT systems is the main reason for increase in IT budgets, say 58 percent of respondents. Need to comply with the regulations (49 percent) and increases in the overall budget (46 percent) also contributed to increase in the IT budgets.
Finally, the surveyed members indicate that, with the new reimbursement models and mounting financial viability pressures, much of their organizations’ health IT strategy is focused on bottom line and this means that vendors whose products do not deliver in a quantifiable way will find it difficult to cut ice with healthcare organizations.