HIMSS leadership survey touts provider readiness for federal mandates

Federal mandates don't appear to be much of a problem for respondents to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's latest annual leadership survey.

More than 75 percent of respondents to the survey, released Monday afternoon at the organization's annual conference in Orlando, indicated that they expect to qualify for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use this year. Additionally, 92 percent of respondents indicated that they expect to have their ICD-10 transition complete by Oct. 1.

For the survey, HIMSS received 298 responses representing 650 U.S. hospitals.

On a panel convened for the report's release, Norma Tirado, CIO at St. Joseph, Mich.-based Lakeland Health and Anupam Goel, vice president of clinical information at Oak Brook, Ill.-based accountable care organization Advocate Health Care (pictured, left to right) said they expected their organizations to attest to Meaningful Use Stage 2 this year. Scott MacLean, deputy CIO at Boston-based Partners HealthCare (pictured, far right) said he expected his hospitals to attest in 2014, as well, although he added that Partners' academic medical centers--which use internally developed systems--likely will attest in 2015.

"We do feel that Stage 2 attestation will take place in April, May or June," Goel said. "If we didn't hit Stage 2, we'd be embarrassed."

The HIMSS survey results run counter to the message that many providers are struggling to attest with Meaningful Use Stage 2. Earlier on Monday, 48 national provider organizations--including the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and the Medical Group Management Association--sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for a front-end extension to Stage 2. HIMSS did not sign that letter.

Other survey findings included:

  • Clinicians many times are active participants of IT use at their organizations
  • 20 percent of respondents said that their organization had experienced a security breach within the past year.
  • Another 20 percent said they focused on IT security systems as their top infrastructure priority

"There continues to be a strong level of integration between an organization's overall strategic plan and their IT strategic plan," an executive summary for the report read. "Nearly half of respondents [49 percent] indicated that their organization's IT strategic plan is a component of their organization's strategic operating, clinical and capital plans."

Despite most survey participants reporting IT budget increases, respondents said their top barrier to successful implementation of IT was a lack of financial resources, an announcement touting the report noted. Jennifer Horowitz, senior director of research at HIMSS Analytics, noted at the report's release that for 25 percent of organizations, sustaining financial viability was the top business objective, up from 15 percent in 2012.

To learn more:
- here's the survey (.pdf)
- read the announcement

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