HIMSS Analytics reports detail hospital buying practices, technology use

The IT buying practices of for-profit hospitals varied dramatically from not-for-profit and government hospitals, according to one of two new reports released by the Dorenfest Institute for Health Information.

Not-for-profit hospitals were the most active purchasers of health technology, though the buying patterns of government hospitals were fairly similar, according to the report. However, for-profit hospitals put the brakes on technology purchasing in 2012, which indicates a disruptive event in the market. The report, "Hospital Tax Status and HIT Buying Patterns," suggests that event was healthcare reform legislation.

Computerized physician order entry and physician documentation were the most common purchases for all hospitals, but for-profit organizations placed a higher priority on physician portals.

The report on buying patterns covers four years--2010 to 2013--and focuses on the more than 100 health IT applications monitored by HIMSS Analytics.

The second report, "2013 Annual Report of the U.S. Hospital IT Market," examines technology use at nearly 4,300 U.S. hospitals for 2009-2012. It covers capital and operating budgets, as well as the use of key financial and clinical technologies in place at these hospitals. A previous report covering 2005-2011 also is available on the site.  

The Dorenfest Institute, which is managed by the HIMSS Foundation, makes its databases available for research. In addition to the reports, it has just made available its 2012 year-end HIMSS Analytics Database, which covers IT use at nearly 5,400 U.S. hospitals and the more than 26,000 ambulatory facilities associated with those hospitals.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also recently made huge healthcare datasets available for researchers and for third-party application developers to use in ways more accessible to the public. The FDA released data on adverse events, while HHS updated its Medicare hospital charge data.

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- here's the tax status report (.pdf)
- check out the annual report (.pdf)

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