Healthcare information technology spending will increase a projected 9.3% in 2003 to $23.6 billion, compared with $21.6 billion in 2002, the highest one-year growth rate since 1999, according to Sheldon I. Dorenfest & Associates, Chicago, a market data firm. The company forecast 9% growth in each of the next three years, with spending to exceed $30 billion in 2006. Healthcare IT spending increased 17.6% in 1998 and 15.6% in 1999 but just 2.7% in 2000 and 5.2% in 2001, the firm said. A rebound to 8% growth in 2002 continued in 2003, fed by strong sales of systems for recording, storing and transferring diagnostic images. Such systems are in use at 30% of hospitals surveyed by Dorenfest & Associates, and more than half of the systems were purchased within the past two years. Meanwhile, 15% of surveyed hospitals were in the process of implementing a physician order-entry system, and more than 50% were "evaluating their strategy" for such a system, said Sheldon Dorenfest, the firm's CEO. -- by John Morrissey
IT spending to grow 9% a year through 2006: report
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