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Half of Hospitals Use Three or More Connected Health Technologies, Study Finds

March 3, 2016
by Heather Landi
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More than half of hospitals (52 percent) currently use three or more connected health technologies and many organizations are planning to implement additional technologies to improve engagement and quality of care with patients, according to the 2016 HIMSS Connected Health Survey.

The findings of the survey, which was conducted in partnership with the Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHA), were unveiled at the 2016 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas. The topic of connected health has been a significant theme at HIMSS and during a symposium dedicated to the topic earlier this week, many health IT leaders discussed how mobile technology initiatives have had an impact on improving patient care. As previously reported by Healthcare Informatics, Ricky Bloomfield, M.D. director, mobile technology strategy at Durham, N.C.-based Duke Medicine shared his perspective on the current state of connected health with HIMSS attendees.

The Connected Health survey evaluates the use of seven technologies representing a broad-range of clinically-oriented solutions currently available in the marketplace. The findings seem to underscore the growing importance that connected health technologies, such as mobile and wireless devices, play in the hospital setting.

According to the survey, 58 percent of respondents use mobile optimized patient portals, 48 percent use apps for patient education and engagement and 37 percent use remote patient monitoring technologies. In addition, 34 percent utilize telehealth and audio visual fee-for-service, 33 percent use SMS texting, 32 percent use patient-generated health data and 26 percent utilize telehealth-concierge services.

Respondents reported that technologies implemented within hospital settings positively impacted capabilities to communicate with patients along with the ability to deliver a higher standard of care. In addition, 69 percent of respondents whose hospitals are utilizing mobile optimized patient portals indicated that the attention to a mobile environment expands the capability to send and receive data securely.

Looking ahead, 47 percent of hospitals expect to expand their use of connected health technologies and tools in the next few years. The most commonly cited technologies hospitals plan to add, according to the survey results, are patient-generated health data solutions, telehealth-concierge service and SMS texting. And, another five percent of respondents expect their hospitals to become first time users of at least one of the seven connected health technologies outlined in the survey.

The survey reflects the insights of 227 IT, informatics and clinical professionals in the U.S. hospitals and health systems with regard to their organization’s current and future use of connected health technologies.

“The healthcare ecosystem is increasingly converging on patient centric technology solutions,” Tom Martin, Ph.D., director of healthcare information systems for HIMSS, said. “The role of the provider is to expand far beyond the walls of the exam room, especially as our healthcare system transitions towards value based purchasing. The Connected Health findings illustrate the importance of interactive relationships between physicians and individuals and technology as a means to advance comprehensive health and healthcare.”

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