Study: Federal focus on healthcare IT

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Nearly half of respondents (48 percent) indicated that creating incentives for organizations using information technology (IT) within the Medicare program will have the most impact toward helping organizations mitigate their financial investment in healthcare IT systems, according to Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's (HIMSS) July Vantage Point survey: What role should the federal government play in the implementation of IT in healthcare?

However, respondents reported that the most effective means to demonstrate return on investment (ROI) is through demonstration and research (58 percent). Only one quarter (26 percent) indicated government purchasing power will be an effective means of demonstrating ROI.

The survey discovered a toss up between opinions regarding the certification of healthcare IT products and services: 39 percent indicated it will benefit the industry, while 38 percent said certification will have no impact on technology adoption.

Additionally, two-thirds (55 percent) of respondents said that mid to large size hospitals (with more than 100 beds) will get the most "bang for the buck" from the Bush administration's appointment of David Brailer, MD, Phd, to the position of National Health Information Technology Coordinator.

Regarding the area with the most potential impact on electronic medical record (EMR) implementation, 40 percent of survey participants indicated interoperability of EMRs across hospitals, physicians' offices and other providers, while 38 percent said its impact would be improving the business case for physicians and hospitals to adopt EMRs.

To view the full survey and accompanying graphics, visit: http://www.himss.org/content/files/vantagepoint/vantagepoint_072004a.htm