HIMSS: Patient safety top reason for IT investment

In most other industries, IT investment is justified largely in terms of ROI. But last week's HIMSS survey results note, healthcare IT managers have some bigger fish to fry. The new research--the 18th annual study done by HIMSS--surveyed 360 healthcare IT leaders to get a sense of their priorities and worries.

Among the most prominent findings was that more than half (54 percent) said that improving safety and reducing errors was at the top of their priority list when making IT investments. This represents a 4 percent growth over last year. One of the biggest changes, meanwhile, was their plans for clinical systems. A full 48 percent said that they planned to replace or upgrade inpatient clinical systems, a large jump from the 29 percent naming this as a priority last year. Thirty-five percent said business continuity and disaster recovery was critical. The biggest barriers to IT implementations were lack of financial support, lack of staffing, and dissatisfaction with vendor performance.

One other finding which should be on the radar screen of health IT administrators was that security breaches were surprisingly common. Eighteen percent of those surveyed had seen a breach within the past six months. IT administrators are particularly worried about their own people; 57 percent said that internal breaches were their top data security concern.

To get several more data points from the study:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (sub. req.)
- read the HIMSS report (.pdf)

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