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US healthcare providers expect to grow their IT budgets by over 10%

Posted on: 07 Jun 04
US healthcare providers expect to grow their IT budgets by over 10%

Summary

US healthcare IT investments finally catching up – with key focus on initiatives improving the quality of care

Healthcare, a sector that has experienced single digit growth for many years in terms of investment in IT - long lagging behind other industries, is finally starting to hot-up. That is the conclusion from a new report series based on interviews with more than 100 US healthcare IT decision makers by independent market analysts Datamonitor (DTM.L). The two-report series, ‘2004 IT strategy in US healthcare providers’ and ‘2004 IT infrastructure trends in US healthcare providers’ reveals that the majority of healthcare providers (66%) expect to grow their IT budgets by over 10% between 2004-2006. According to Datamonitor, technologies that facilitate higher quality of both patient care and enablement of clinical staff will be significant areas of imminent IT investment.

“The US healthcare industry is responding to reports of very high fatality numbers caused by medical errors each year. Institutions are beginning to wake up to the fact that employing point-of-care IT is one of the ways in which patient safety can be increased and medical errors reduced. A contributing factor is also the US government’s pronounced interest in healthcare IT - through President Bush’s proposal to develop standards for healthcare data interchange and also the JCAHO’s (Joint commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) proposed patient safety goals which would require bar-code technology at the patient bed side by 2007,” says Panni Kanyuk, Datamonitor senior healthcare analyst.

Across the board provider IT investments are currently focused on leveraging existing IT assets to maximize ROI and reduce supply-chain costs. Furthermore, Datamonitor’s survey has established that high US mid-tier (500-999 bed) healthcare institutions are the most advanced and aggressive in terms of new technology investment. Low mid-tier providers are focusing their IT efforts on integrating clinical information into a single, enterprise-wide information repository. Remote access for clinicians, in- and out-patient systems integration and PACS (picture archiving and communications systems) are key issues specific to high mid-tier providers. Among high-end providers information system implementations such as CPOE (computerized physician order entry), EMR (Electronic medical records), lab, radiology and pharmacy, are top priority issues.

Other key findings from Datamonitor’s report-series reveal:

Almost 60% of healthcare providers are considering Internet Protocol (IP) for clinical process improvements: accessing clinical data over the phone along with nurse call applications being the top two uses cited
62% of respondents cited wireless enablement of the clinical trial documentation process as a top-of-mind priority
44% of providers have already implemented some form of storage solution, with HPCompaq, IBM and EMC representing three-fourths of provider respondents’ choice storage brands
It is still early days for outsourcing in healthcare (over 60% of respondents do not have any plans to) however two-thirds of those who would, are undecided which technology areas to outsource
Ms Kanyuk concludes:

“Key IT investment initiatives in 2004 will center on front-end applications on the clinical side - be it automating clinical information systems such as radiology, pharmacy, EMR, lab, or providing remote access to already automated systems in order to make them accessible at the patient bed side. Improvements at the point-of-care will also trigger needs in back-end related IT, in particular for security and storage solutions for the cost-efficient management and archiving of vast amounts of confidential patient data and images.”


Related Datamonitor Research:

  • ‘2004 IT strategy in US healthcare providers’
  • Datamonitor

    Last updated on: 27/08/2010 11:40:18

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