Healthcare News & Insights

Healthcare IT Trends 2012

healthcare it trendsThe results from our 2012 Healthcare IT Trends Survey are beginning to roll in. We asked IT decision makers and Healthcare executives to weigh in on a variety of healthcare technology topics and their expectations for 2012. Topics included staffing, EMR/EHR, HIE, Tablets, Data Storage, Billing and Revenue Cycle Management, E-Prescribing, Document Management, Practice Management, Telehealth, and more.  As of writing, more than 100 have responded. Here are some early findings from our Healthcare IT Trends survey.

Haven’t taken the survey yet? Share your insight and contribute to our 2012 Healthcare IT Trends Survey.

Healthcare IT Trends – Early Findings

  • Most have already implemented some form of EMR / EHR, though 2012 will see IT focus sharply on development and maintenance of these systems that are already in place.
  • A majority aren’t using tablet technology, and they aren’t in a big hurry to adopt.
  • It appears that healthcare professionals will playing catch-up with their IT counterparts this year, as a top overall IT focus is training healthcare staff to use new technologies.
  • Despite data suggesting status-quo with respect to new technology adoption in 2012, 28% are seeing an IT budget increase of 10% or more.
  • Data storage servers are a top focus – not surprising given the volumes of content flowing into EMR / EHR systems already in heavy adoption.
  • Investment in new display imaging is also a top priority, perhaps reflecting significant downward movement of pricing of larger, high-definition displays in recent months.

Healthcare IT Trends – EMR / EHR Adoption

As expected, EMR / EHR adoption is high among mid-large (400+ bed) not-for-profit facilities, at 85%, and slightly higher (87%) at smaller not-for-profit facilities. At the same time, development and/or maintenance of these systems is the #1 priority for the 400+ group, and a #2 priority for those at smaller facilities after Document Management Systems.

80% of independent, for-profit practices have already implemented some form of EMR / EHR.

The group with the lowest rate of EMR / EHR adoption?  For-profit systems, at 69%

Healthcare IT Trends – Tablet Adoption

Overall, 40% of respondents indicate they’ve already adopted Tablet technology, 400+ bed not-for-profit facilities leading the way (largest group among adopters, at 29%). For-profit independent practices trailed the rest, at 16%.

When those using tablets were asked how they were being used, here’s how they responded.

  • 72% – Access EMR / EHR
  • 59% – Access network email
  • 39% – Clinical decision support
  • 36% – Digital imaging and viewing
  • 28% – Use of medical apps
  • 23% – eRx (e-prescribing and prescription drug references)
  • 18% – Lab orders, results
  • 18% – Medical billing and coding

Healthcare IT Trends – Top IT Priorities

We asked respondents to indicate their top IT priorities in 2012. Here are their top four overall.

  • Development and/or Maintenance of EMR / EHR
  • Training healthcare staff to use new technologies
  • Updating equipment for digital imaging
  • Meeting HIPAA standards
  • Data storage servers
Their lowest priorities overall?
  • Telehealth-enabled equipment
  • Document Management Systems
  • Practice Management Systems
  • Billing and Revenue Cycle Management Systems
Their mid-level priorities are:
  • Hiring IT staff
  • New wireless devices
  • New tablet devices

Healthcare IT Trends – 2012 Budget

While a slight majority see healthcare IT budgets up in 2012, the largest individual group is seeing budgets remain flat. Only a small percentage are seeing budget reductions.

  • 36% – budgets are remaining the same
  • 28% – budget increase of 10% or more
  • 25% – budget increase of up to 10%
  • 6% – decrease by more than 10%
  • 2% – decrease by up to 10%

About Healthcare IT Trends Survey Participants

  • Job Function
    • 61% are in IT, Executive, or Administrative roles
    • 10% are Physicians
  • Type of Facility
    • 31% are from mid-to-large not-for-profit facilities of 400+ beds
    • 29% are from small not-for-profit facilities of less than 400 beds
    • 15% are from for-profit healthcare systems
    • 12% are from for-profit independent practices