LAS VEGAS -- Adding a doctor or nurse to the IT leadership team changes how a healthcare organization views its technology efforts. That's one takeaway from the 27th annual HIMSS leadership survey, released today at the society's annual meeting in Las Vegas.
Researchers at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) filtered responses to the survey of 282 IT executives and professionals in U.S. hospitals and health systems, based on whether the respondent's organization did (71 percent) or did not employ a clinical IT exec, such as a CNIO or CMIO.
After finding "remarkable differences on a multitude of issues," driven in part by the move from volume- to value-based care, researchers concluded that clinical IT execs have a notable impact on the organization's orientation toward health IT.
For example, although 79 percent of all respondents "strongly agree" that health IT is a "strategic tool that can help organizations achieve their business objectives," that dropped to 62 percent when an organization did not have a clinical IT exec on the leadership team, compared to 86 percent among those who do.
"Clinical IT executives clearly possess a unique and valued perspective regarding the criticality of health IT on an organization's patient care focused efforts, and this orientation appears to be gaining traction in many organizations," Lorren Pettit, vice president of research for HIMSS, said in an announcement.
Other data points in the survey:
- Health IT is considered a critical tool in clinical integration (74 percent), primary care provider efficiency (72 percent) and mandated quality metrics improvement (68 percent).
- Top organizational priorities include sustaining financial viability (87 percent), improving patient satisfaction (about 84 percent) and improving patient care and/or outcomes (83 percent).
- Health IT staffing rates are back on the rise, after dropping steadily between 2010 and 2014. This year, the trend continued upward for the second year in a row.
- Compensation gaps between men and women persist: Men earned an average of $126,000 while women earned $101,000 on average. Gender gaps also persist in access to upper managerial roles.
Stay tuned to FierceHealthIT for additional coverage of the annual survey, including more on HIMSS' plans to close the gender gap in the health IT field.
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