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Study: IT Pros Lack Expertise to Handle Federal Mandates

February 19, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Three out of five healthcare IT professionals believe that government mandates are having a negative effect on their industry, according to study from Peak 10, a Charlotte, N.C.-based national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider.

The majority (94 percent) of respondents also noted that complying with regulations influences IT strategy and decision-making.  With rare exception, respondents—C-level executives and information technology professionals at 149 U.S. healthcare organizations— claimed they lack the expertise necessary to navigate the maze of government regulations.

According to the study, cost cutting and cost containment are also cause for concern for healthcare organizations and exacerbated by the fact that many IT departments are already under-staffed and under-funded. Other key findings include:

Healthcare companies are cautiously but steadily moving into the cloud with software-as-service (SaaS) and non-mission critical workloads (administrative/corporate systems). Cloud adoption is mainly driven by regulatory mandates around electronic health records (EHRs).

  • Mobility, EHR, patient portals, and regulation are the critical technology topics that will make the greatest impact on healthcare IT environments.
  • Insurance organizations' budgets are under the most pressure: a 59 percent majority indicated that their IT budgets would either decline (25 percent) or remain static (38 percent) over the next two years. By contrast only one-third —34 percent—of insurance firms polled said IT budgets would increase over the next 24 months.
  • Presently, about 50 percent of IT healthcare companies surveyed indicated they use a third-party integrator or partner to assist them with their IT strategy.
  • Among the 50 percent of healthcare IT companies that use a third-party integrator/partner to assist with IT strategy, 70 percent cited depth of technical knowledge as the top reason. This was followed by 60 percent who indicated that third-party partners alleviate the time and resource constraints on internal IT staff.

"Healthcare organizations need a smooth transition to electronic health record systems," Christina Kyriazi, manager of market insights and analytics at Peak 10, said in a statement. "Technology is seen as the enabler to a better patient experience, giving patients more control over their personal information and healthcare history, therefore empowering them to trust their healthcare provider and to make more sound and well-informed decisions for themselves."

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