Health IT buckling under rules and regs

Non-revenue producing investments are diverting resources, survey finds
By Mike Miliard
11:13 AM
Man carrying large pile of binders

Nearly 95 percent of health IT professionals say complying with regulations influences is the chief driver of their decision-making, according to a new poll. Worse, a majority saying too many government mandates are having an adverse effect on their work.

[See also: Federal EHR regs driving docs out of private practice, says new report]

The survey, from Peak 10, an IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, also finds that  with "rare exception," respondents say they lack the right expertise to "navigate the maze" of federal rules, according to Peak 10 officials.

Three out of five respondents to the poll say too many rules are having a negative effect on healthcare IT, according to the Peak 10 National IT Trends in Healthcare Study.

[See also: ICD-10 cost a 'crushing burden' for docs]

These mandates mean providers must make non-revenue producing investments and divert resources away from innovation and new development, according to Peak 10, which finds that cost cutting is another big concern – made worse by the fact that many IT departments are under-staffed and under-funded.

Other survey findings:

  • A 77 percent majority of hospitals and other healthcare organizations are seeking partners to help them maintain high reliability; 70 percent of respondents said they need partners to assist with security and data privacy concerns.
  • About 50 percent of healthcare IT companies say they use a third-party integrator or partner to assist them with their IT strategy.
  • Among those, 70 percent cited depth of technical knowledge as the top reason; 60 percent, meanwhile, said third-party partners alleviate the time and resource constraints on internal IT staff.

The feelings of many IT staffers might be summed up by a quote, from an anonymous director of IT at a New York medical center, included in the report: "I wake up in a cold sweat, just wondering what (regulations) I missed. It’s up to me to keep up. Things that we had a year to plan before, now we have weeks."

Access the report here.