EHR optimization and population health has been named the top investment priorities for healthcare CIOs over the next three years, according to a survey of College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) members conducted by KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm. Other investment priorities for healthcare CIOs over the next three years include:
• Consumer/clinical and operational analytics (16 percent)
• Virtual/telehealth technology enhancements (13 percent)
• Revenue cycle systems/replacement (7 percent)
• ERP systems / replacement (6 percent)
The KPMG survey of 112 members of CHIME about healthcare IT investment priorities reveal that these investment priorities correlate with some of the biggest healthcare IT challenges that executives face. The survey found that improving clinical/business processes topped the list of challenges, closely followed improving operating efficiency and delivering business intelligence/analytics.
Budget plans for healthcare CIOs are likely to remain the same among 63 percent of respondents for the next 12 months and for 44 percent during the next two years. For the next 12 months, 18 percent of respondents expect higher spending. Respondents (36 percent) expect an increase in operating budgets during the next two years.
Approximately one quarter of all respondents said their organizations were implementing or investing in cloud computing infrastructure (servers, storage and data centers) and 18 percent said their investments were in enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. Other key functions for the cloud among the respondents include electronic health records (10 percent), enterprise systems solutions (10 percent) and disaster recovery (8 percent). The biggest challenges and concerns with cloud computing were regarding data loss/privacy, applications not being fully optimized with the cloud and integration with existing architecture.
“Meaningful Use, HITECH and new payment models have encouraged healthcare providers to invest in EHRs, but some didn’t mesh with how doctors and nurses work,” said Ralph Fargnoli, Advisory managing director at KPMG and author of Beyond Implementation: Optimizing EHRs to Maximize Results. “A majority of doctors are dissatisfied with EHRs. We need to make these systems secure, easier to use, and interoperable across the continuum of care to effectively treat patients and uncover where quality and efficiency can be improved.”