Healthcare Business News

HIMSS survey: Meaningful use a top goal

By Christine LaFave Grace
Posted: February 22, 2011 - 3:45 pm ET

In an online survey of IT executives and information officers at hospitals across the country, half named meeting meaningful-use requirements for electronic health-record systems as their top IT priority for the next two years.

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That's an increase of 8 percentage points from last year, when 42% of respondents in the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Leadership Survey identified meaningful-user status as their No. 1 goal. Results of the 22nd annual survey, completed by 326 senior IT professionals between Dec. 3, 2010, and Jan. 31, 2011, were released Tuesday at the HIMSS 2011 annual convention in Orlando, Fla.

A greater share of respondents than in 2010 may be poised to meet that target: 53%, vs. 48% in 2010, said that at least one of their organization's facilities has a fully operational EHR in place. And a large majority, 81%, expected that their organization would qualify as Stage 1 meaningful users by 2011 or 2012.

Business and IT priorities don't align exactly for the healthcare providers represented in the survey, however. Implementing ICD-10 coding and procedures—a transition that the CMS has mandated that healthcare organizations make by Oct. 1, 2013—trumped reaching meaningful-user status as the top financial objective at survey participants' organizations, 48% to 25%.

Most respondents expect to receive additional resources from their organizations to help meet assorted IT goals: Nearly two-thirds expect that their IT staff will grow, and 76% said they expect that their tech operating budgets will expand. And in an uptick of 3 percentage points from last year, 26% of this year's respondents said their organization had had a security breach in the previous 12 months.

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