HIMSS: Healthcare CEOs have IT on the brain

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Improving patient safety and reducing medical records through the implementation of electronic medical records and other technology are top priority for CEOs and other senior executives of information technology (IT) vendor organizations.

The findings come from the 15th annual HIMSS (Healthcare Information Management Systems Society) leadership survey sponsored by Superior Consultant Company Inc. From November 2003 to January 2004, responses were gathered using a web-based questionnaire. HIMSS says that the participants represented 83 different healthcare vendor, supplier, and consultant organizations and that CEOs/presidents comprised 73 percent of the survey.

The findings indicate that the use of speech recognition and biometric technologies are expected to increase significantly over the next two years. A majority of respondents also agreed that the top barrier to implementing IT at client facilities is providing return on investment.

Additional findings include:

  • Upgrading security on IT systems and implementing privacy modifications HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations remain a top priority. But the survey also found that this is expected to decline in importance in the next two years.

  • The top three healthcare application areas vendors will focus most on the in the next two years are clinical: EMRs were cited most important (60 percent), followed by computer-based practitioner order entry (CPOE) (55 percent) and clinical information systems (47 percent).
  • High-speed networks (54 percent), data security (49 percent) and bar coding (43 percent) were the most frequently cited as technologies vendors considered most important to their healthcare clients now.
  • The three key staffing needs identified by vendors included: systems integration, process/workflow design and clinical champions.

Complete survey results are available at www.himss.org/leadershipsurvey.