Healthcare execs reliant on IT now more than ever

Healthcare executives are becoming more and more reliant on healthcare technology, according to new research from The Economist and RICOH Europe.

Of 432 healthcare executives who responded to the publication's survey, close to 93 percent percent said that they've become more reliant on technology and they're positive about the impact it's having on the industry. Roughly 70 percent said the increased use of technology has increased employees' creativity, while 65 percent agreed there is even more room for efficiency gains

Still, 35 percent of respondents admitted that a computer-automated decision has cost their organization money recently. An accompanying infographic highlights the numbers.

The respondents said that technology challenges have included evolution that occurs more quickly than internal processes that support it, and poor connectivity. Human intuition, they added, remains necessary for diagnosing patients and developing new treatments and medicines.

Only 8 percent of those surveyed think human imagination or intuition is needed for management of patient records.

Human resistance to change and difficulty in adapting new technologies are prominent reasons why interacting with new technologies can be a hard transition, the researchers contend. "While technology may augment human potential in some healthcare domains, in others it is being viewed as a means to free up people to perform other activities," they said.

The survey findings include an interview with Eric Topol, who recently discussed the need for doctors to adopt to health IT more quickly with FierceHealthIT. In the interview with The Economist, Topol said that while doctors control "everything" in patient care today, that role will be driven by individuals in the future.

"Individuals will come to doctors--whether physically or virtually--with information in hand seeking their guidance," Topol said. "Individuals will also have information well beyond what was formally obtainable today--for example, blood pressure readings for every minute of the last two weeks, or glucose levels for every minute of the last month. Those prospects are exciting."

To learn more:
- here's The Economist piece (.pdf)
- see the infographic (.pdf)

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