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What Will be Hospital CIOs’ Priorities in 2018?

December 20, 2017
by Heather Landi
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Hospitals CIOs plan to focus on electronic health record (EHR) integration and mobile adoption and physician buy-in, according to a survey conducted by Springfield, Va.-based Spok, a clinical communications solutions company, of College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) member CIOs.

The survey, conducted in June 2017, found that, across the hospital, 40 percent of CIO respondents said deploying an enterprise analytics platform is a top priority in 2018. Seventy-one percent of respondents cited integrating with the EHR is a top priority, and 62 percent said physician adoption and buy-in for securing messaging was a top priority in the next 18 months. What’s more, 38 percent said optimizing EHR integration with other hospital systems with a key focus for 2018.

Drilling down into mobile strategy, the survey asked respondents what’s driving their mobile technology selection—79 percent said secure messaging and communications among care teams, 60 percent said receiving alerts from clinical systems (nurse call, patient monitors, etc.) and 60 percent said critical test results alerts.

Looking at where healthcare organizations stand on having a mobile technology strategy to support clinical workflows, 65 percent of CIOs said they are working to bring mobile elements into a unified strategy and 38 percent said they are not developing a mobile care team strategy.

The survey also evaluated the progress healthcare organizations are making toward implementing a mobile strategy and it seems the overwhelming consensus was, “We’re working on it.” Only 30 percent of CIOs said they have implemented a mobile strategy for critical diagnostics result alerts, but 65 percent plan to have that implemented in three years. Fifty-nine percent said they have implemented a mobile strategy for medication administration, and 70 percent of CIOS said they will implement that in the next three years. Sixty-one percent plan to have clinical decision support alerts as part of a mobile strategy in three years and 71 percent plan to implement a mobile strategy for clinical documentation in three years. While only 20 percent of CIOs said they currently have a mobile strategy for care team assignments, 61 percent indicated they will have that implemented in three years.

According to 54 percent of survey respondents, mobile adoption and buy-in continues to be a challenge. What’s more almost half cited funding as a top challenge for rolling out secure texting. Asked how they gain buy-in, 80 percent said they include clinician representatives on the planning committee, and three-fourths said they develop internal champions.

CIOs also were surveyed about their investment decisions for communications-related technologies. Seventy-one percent of CIO respondents said they base their investment decisions on integrating with the EHR, and 69 percent said integration with other systems. Sixty-two percent of CIOs cited the ease of use for end users as a top factor in investment decisions and 57 percent said meeting clinician needs factored in their investment decisions.

Asked how they will measure success with communication-related technologies, two-thirds of CIO respondents said physician adoption rates and increased user satisfaction.

CIOs also are considering the patient perspective. Almost half (45 percent) of respondents indicated they’re evolving patient portals and half have added a Patient Experience Officer (or equivalent) to their team.

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