CSC: 90 percent of hospital execs say meaningful use is top or second priority

Though they may have many other IT and reform-related efforts underway, 90 percent of hospital executives count achieving meaningful use of EMR among their top two priorities, and two-thirds consider it their top priority, according to a survey by Computer Sciences Corp. Additionally, 42 percent of all respondents said that helping their organizations' networks of owned or affiliated physicians achieve meaningful use of an ambulatory EMR was their No. 2 priority right now.

About half of the 60 respondents were CIOs or other IT leaders, and there were some differences between them and other executives interviewed. Just 48 percent of non-IT leaders named meaningful use as their top concern, 84 percent of the health IT executives did.

"Achieving meaningful use is clearly top of mind among hospital executives, but the CSC survey also reveals there are many competing priorities, including changes to payment models, that are slowing the progress," David Hampshire, managing director of Health Delivery for CSC's Global Healthcare Services Group, says in a company press release. Other things on the minds of hospital executives include the coming expansion of health insurance to more than 30 million Americans and the formation of accountable care organizations.

"The next few years are filled with opportunities and challenges for hospitals, and success will depend on starting early and building the right infrastructure," Hampshire adds.

Six in 10 respondents said that the absence of a final rule for meaningful use was preventing them from moving forward, but that changed two weeks ago when HHS released its standards for Stage 1, starting in 2011. Still, many executives were concerned they would not have enough IT staff to achieve meaningful use or that other priorities or tight budgets might hold them back.

For more data:
- read this InformationWeek story
- have a look at this CSC press release