26th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey Reveals Top Priorities for Healthcare Leaders

HIMSS released the results of the 26th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey of more than 300 participants, examining key trending issues impacting the business of healthcare including patient considerations, security concerns, insurance models and policy mandates. This survey revealed that 72 percent of respondents report that consumer and patient considerations, such as patient engagement, satisfaction and quality of care will have a major impact on their organization’s strategic efforts over the next two years.

The strategic value of information technology (IT) continues to be top of mind with healthcare leaders as 81 percent of respondents indicated IT is considered a highly strategic tool at their organizations and 76 percent noted that their IT plan fully supports their overall business plan. Participants also answered questions related to how IT was being used to facilitate the goals of the Triple Aim – a framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement that describes an approach to optimizing health system performance. While more than two-thirds of respondents (68 percent) indicated an improvement within the patient health experience, more than half also felt that IT was reducing the cost of healthcare (53 percent) and improving population health (51 percent).

“This year’s survey showed that more than one-third of participants report that their organization was able to demonstrate improvement in all three areas covered in the Triple Aim as a result of their IT use,” said John H. Daniels, vice president, strategic relations for HIMSS. “These numbers are critical as they prove the continued progress healthcare is making as IT integrates with value-based care strategies and the growing influence of the patient in health encounters. It will be important for providers to capitalize on this momentum to ensure improved patient satisfaction as the sector begins the transition from Stage 2 to Stage 3 of meaningful use.”

The Leadership Survey also indicated that IT is supported from the top down– 79 percent of respondents indicated their organization’s executive team is highly supportive of IT and 72 percent of respondents indicated their organization’s board of directors was also on board with IT growth within their organizations.

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Analytics Outweighs Accountable Care, Population Health, ICD-10 as an IT Priority, say Health System Execs

A new survey of senior information technology executives at some of the nation’s largest health systems reveals that their top priority for IT infrastructure investment is analytics – a technology that is central to achieving the systematic quality improvements and cost reductions required by healthcare reform.

Health Catalyst surveyed members of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), all chief information officers (CIOs) or other senior IT executives of US healthcare organizations. Survey respondents provided a high-level view of the many competing priorities for IT investment that hospital leaders face in the era of “value-based care” – a term describing elements of the Affordable Care Act as well as private industry incentives that reward providers for improving their patients’ health.

Most experts agree that value-based care will require hospitals to use sophisticated analytics to comb through terabytes of clinical and financial data to reveal actionable opportunities for improving quality and efficiency. The survey’s findings confirm that view, with 54 percent of respondents rating analytics as their highest IT priority, followed by investments in population health initiatives (42 percent), ICD-10 (30 percent), accountable care/shared risk initiatives (29 percent), and consolidation-related investments (11 percent).

importance of the IT infrastructure investments

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HIMSS Infographic: 25 Years of Health IT

HIMSS released the following infographic that summarizes the findings of 25 years of health IT from its annual leadership surveys. It’s a pretty good depiction of how health IT has changed in the last quarter century. Looking back on the past twenty five years in healthcare, something are fairly interesting. For example, physicians in 1993 said they would not adopt their use in healthcare until they became easier to use. The sentiment still remains, to a certain degree, especially in regard to systems like electronic health records.

Another interesting factoid, is that in 1994, 14 percent predicted that digital patient information would be shared nationwide in one to three years.

Finally, the number of health IT priorities that has changed in the course of the last 25 years is either alarming or inspiring, based on the level of change in the space and how quickly things continue to change. However, the number of changes and their frequency remind me of a dog on a trail stalking down one scent after another without a real sense of purpose – Y2K, HIPAA, patient safety, reducing medical errors, financial survival, meaningful use, etc.

Time will tell what happens next, I suppose.