HIMSS annual survey takes pulse of all things health IT

IT leaders stressed about project money

By Bernie Monegain
10:28 AM

Not having enough money to complete a successful IT implementation is the top worry of participants in the 25th Annual 2014 HIMSS Leadership Survey. The survey examines a wide array of topics crucial to healthcare leaders including IT priorities, issues driving and challenging technology adoption and IT security.

While a majority of the survey participants -- 65 percent -- reported IT budget increases, which is likely a contributing factor to the transition to a paperless environment, HIMSS officials noted in a news release, a lack of adequate financial resources now tops the list of barriers to successful IT implementation. This is a shift from the past two years when the primary IT challenge was insufficient and untrained staffing resources.

[Infographic: 25th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey]

Key survey findings include:

  • More than 90 percent of survey respondents have already qualified for Stage 1 meaningful use;
  • About 75 percent expect to qualify for Stage 2 in 2014; and
  • Nearly all respondents expect to complete their conversion to ICD-10 by October 2014.

"It is refreshing to see how much progress providers have made in the past 25 years when it comes to integrating health IT into their patient care strategies," said Lorren Pettit, vice president of market research for HIMSS Analytics, in a press statement. "It is clear that healthcare reform initiatives are paying off, and we hope that these findings will validate the ROI of health IT so that we may continue down this path of a more cost-effective, efficient healthcare system that engages the patient."

[See also: 2012 HIMSS Survey: IT staffing shortage key barrier to meeting IT priorities.]

Additional survey findings include:

  • Providers were identified as IT project champions. Two-thirds of respondents reported they participate in a health information exchange organization, up from 50 percent in the 2013 survey.
  • Top IT priorities are around CPOE and physician documentation.
  • Patient portals and other mediums for patients to access information are increasing. Some 36 percent of respondents are providing patients with secure, online access to clinical patient information, up from 12 percent in 2010.
  • Clinicians play key role in IT adoption. Clinicians are IT project champions and actively participate in the IT system selection process. The number of respondents employing a chief nursing information officer has also doubled in the past year to 15 percent.

[See also: Rethinking leadership in health IT.]

The survey, which was released Feb. 24 at the 2014 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., reflects the responses of 298 respondents which were collected December 2013 through January 2014, representing data from more than 650 U.S. hospitals.

Access the full survey here.