Clinical information technology has arrived.
According to a newly released report from San Francisco-based Embarcadero Technologies, EHR implementation is the top priority of health IT professionals, named by 61 percent of survey respondents. At No. 2 (52 percent) was building health data warehouses, followed by health information exchange, listed in the top three of 47 percent of respondents.
Though Embarcadero conducted the survey in March and April--several months before HHS finalized its rules on "meaningful use" of health IT, 85 percent of those surveyed said they either had an EHR implementation underway or planned to start one in the next 18 months, suggesting that the majority of healthcare organizations are aiming for the Medicare and Medicaid subsidies for EHRs. Furthermore, 74 percent of health IT professionals--including software developers, database administrators, architects, consultants and executives--said they had "adequate" information about meaningful use and EHR certification to move ahead with implementation.
Major challenges in health IT include data integration and achieving interoperability with other systems, according to the survey. Many of the 111 respondents also said they were working on adapting to Health Level Seven International communication standards and the coming transition to ICD-10 coding.
Embarcadero also found that there were no truly dominant EHR vendors, at least among the survey pool. About 13 percent said their organizations would be using an Epic Systems EHR, while 11 percent indicated they had chosen Cerner and 7.5 percent were Siemens customers.