Over Half of Healthcare Technology Leaders Have Already Qualified for Meaningful Use Stage One

HIMSS13 CONFERENCE, NEW ORLEANS (March 4, 2013) – 2013 is a huge year in health IT with a majority of healthcare leaders reporting that they have qualified for Meaningful Use Stage One.  Results from the 24th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey, released today, indicate that the federal government’s efforts to impact provider investments in information technologies to qualify for Meaningful Use and ICD-10 conversions are paying off.  Nearly two-thirds of health IT professionals in provider organizations surveyed have already qualified for Meaningful Use Stage One and three-quarters indicated they expect to qualify for Stage Two in 2014. Additionally, 87 percent of respondents indicated they expect to complete their conversion to ICD-10 by October 2014.

The HIMSS Leadership Survey, sponsored by Infor, covers a wide array of topics crucial to healthcare IT leaders and was released by HIMSS, the cause-based non-profit organization devoted to transforming healthcare through the best use of IT, at HIMSS13, the organization’s Annual Conference and leading healthcare IT industry event.  

As the role of IT in healthcare grows respondents continued to express concerns about IT staffing shortages.  51 percent of those surveyed indicated they plan to increase their IT staff over the next year, but 21 percent are concerned that they won’t be able to secure the IT staff needed to successfully achieve their IT objectives. Other key survey results include:

Health Information Exchanges (HIEs):  51 percent of respondents reported their organization participates in at least one HIE in their area, a finding that is slightly increased from last year’s participation level.   

ICD-10:  47 percent of respondents to this study indicated that implementing CPT-10/ICD-10 continues to be the top focus for financial IT systems. 

Impact of IT on Patient Care: Respondents were most likely to indicate that IT can impact patient care by improving clinical/quality outcomes, reducing medical errors or helping to standardize care by allowing for the use of evidence-based medicine.  

Role of Clinicians:  Clinicians are active participants in many aspects of IT use at their organizations, including selecting IT systems for use in their department and acting as project champions. 

Security Concerns: 19 percent of respondents indicated that their organization has experienced a security breach in the past year. Respondents were most likely to indicate that securing information on mobile devices was the top security concern at their organization.

Organizational Infrastructure:  Almost one-quarter of respondents (22 percent) indicated that a focus on security systems was their current key infrastructure priority.

IT Governance:  There continues to be a strong level of integration between an organization’s overall strategic plan and their IT strategic plan as half of respondents reported that their IT plan is part of their overall organizational strategic plan. 

Senior IT Executive Responsibilities:  Executives were most likely to report that they play a role in contributing to overall business strategy and driving value from IT investments.

External Areas of Responsibilities:  Nearly all senior IT executives reported that they were responsible for at least one IT area outside of the traditional IT department, primarily telecommunications.

Consumer Attitudes on Health IT:  On a scale of one to seven, where one is of no importance and seven is a high degree of importance, IT executives recorded an average score of 4.94 with regard to the importance that patient/consumer attitudes have on adoption of new technology.  

“With more than half of the respondents reporting that they have qualified for Meaningful Use Stage One and 25 percent saying that they will invest a minimum of $1 million to achieve Stage Two, it seems that we have reached a tipping point where initial government investments are beginning to pay off and Meaningful Use is becoming ingrained in the healthcare industry” said Jennifer Horowitz, senior director of research, HIMSS Analytics.  “We’re seeing a pattern of consistent concern over IT staffing shortages.  Clinical application support, network support, and clinical informatics professionals are in high demand.”

“The concerns voiced in the survey are the same concerns we’re hearing from our healthcare customers every day,” said Steve Fanning, vice president, Healthcare Industry Strategy, Infor. “There’s a growing realization that smart IT investments don’t just make business easier or lower costs for the organization – they directly impact patient care. Our customers are concerned with how they can use IT to accomplish more with less, while at the same time
security to ensure the confidentiality of patient information.”

The Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey reflects the opinions of information technology professionals in U.S. healthcare provider organizations regarding the use of IT in their organizations. Visit www.himss.org/LeadershipSurvey to access the full report. 

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