Hospital CIOs: Health IT change is 'too much, too fast'

Meaningful Use. ICD-10. HIPAA 5010. Separately, all of these implementations, along with many others, represent big changes for hospital executives. Combined, however, they represent a big mess, according to a new survey.

Roughly 74 percent of CIOs surveyed admitted that all of the various changes being asked of hospitals are starting to become overwhelming. "So often I hear the phrase 'Can you make them stop?' one CIO said in responding to the survey. "In this case, mandates, regulations, financial shakedowns and haircuts, quality pressures, MD affiliations, HCAP scores, the list goes on and on. Organizations need to do a better job at setting priorities, as no outfit can do it all."

Or, as another CIO simply put it, "Too much, too fast."

The most challenging of the change-management problems, according to the majority of CIOs surveyed, were computerized physician order entry (34.7 percent) and electronic physician documentation (30.4 percent). Meanwhile, 17 percent of CIOs listed patient engagement-related activities--which have caused quite a stir in relation to the Meaningful Use Stage 2 proposed rules--as being the most challenging problem.

"The biggest challenge [with regard to CPOE] is that the scope is not just about orders," one CIO said. "It touches everyone who touches the patient in ways we haven't even fully defined yet."

By far, the group most resistant to change, according to the CIOs surveyed, was independent, non-employed physicians who referred patients in. Such providers, according to a recent Health Affairs study, have struggled with electronic health record adoption, especially when compared with doctors in larger practices.

Additionally, getting doctors to change their individual behaviors--like inputting orders electronically--was voted as the toughest part of change management.

To learn more:
- here's the survey

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