Report: Outsourcing and health IT spending on the rise

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Health IT spending, as well as outsourcing contracts, for medical facilities will continue to increase over the next four years, according to a survey by Gartner, a technology research and analysis firm, according to Modern Healthcare.

The results from this report were taken from a nonscientific survey of 55 companies to examine outsourcing trends that provide on-site management to hospital departments, long-term-care facilities and alternate sites such as clinics and physician group practices.

The report said that facilities will spend up to 23 percent of their budgets on business processing and IT services by 2011.

In 2005, 8 percent of healthcare facilities were considered early adopters of health IT, while last year, 33 percent of facilities were considered early adopters, which can be attributed to changes in how executives perceive the need for IT, according to John Lovelock, analyst and director of healthcare research at Gartner.

For example, Siemens Medical Solutions reported to Modern Healthcare a 23.3 percent increase in client facilities for 2006 and is third among the top IT systems contractors. Siemens’ officials agree that the ways IT is used in hospitals is becoming more dynamic.

Also, facility contracts for information systems increased by 13 percent from the 2006 survey.

Modern Healthcare also reports that hospitals are increasingly relying on outside contractors to provide higher levels of service to comply with quality standards and increased scrutiny from consumers and regulators.

There is a significant shift among facilities toward outsourcing clinical IT needs; and as outsourcing grows, contractor relationships will play more of a role in quality at the facilities, said Kevin Fickenscher, chief medical officer and executive vice president of Perot Systems.