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IT Projects Move Forward Despite Cutbacks

December 10, 2008
by root
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Although one in four hospital executives surveyed by

College of Healthcare Information Management Executives

(CHIME, Ann Arber, Mich.), the

National Alliance for Health Information Technology

(NAHIT, Chicago), and

AHA Solutions Inc.

(Chicago) have laid off workers and/or instituted a hiring freeze, many providers are moving ahead with strategic clinical IT projects

According to results of the survey, for which 144 CIOs and 27 CFOs and vice presidents of finance at health systems across the country were polled, organizations are taking measured steps to cope with the financial crisis, including delaying capital projects and cutting capital and operating budgets. However, investments in EHRs, CPOE, and medication management remain high-priority projects for about half or more of all respondents. Strategic IT projects, they said, are seen as integral to achieving greater operating efficiencies as well as other organizational goals such as increased patient safety, according to the study.

Other key findings from the report are as follows:

· Fifty-five percent of CFOs/VPs Finance are experiencing slight or significant delays in accessing capital and expect the financial crisis to last another 12 to 24 months.
· CFOs/VPs Finance are delaying or lengthening timeframes for completing new facilities or facility upgrades (74 percent) deferring IT equipment purchases (57 percent) and delaying or lengthening timeframes for implementing health IT initiatives (52 percent).
  • CIOs are responding by implementing longer timeframes for application projects (63 percent) and reducing spending on outsourced IT services (34 percent).

· Thirty-three percent of CFOs/VPs Finance have cut budgets while 26 percent has laid off staff and/or instituted a hiring freeze.

· Almost all respondents (94 percent) have cut IT budgets by extending implementation time for existing projects and delaying or reducing the slate of new projects.

To view the full report, with respondent quotes and survey questions, please visit http://www.nahit.org/images/pdfs/HealthCareITSpendingSurveyReportDecember2008.pdf.

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