“I think it could be 100%,” says Bonnie Cassidy, depending on which day the survey was taken, and given the deep impact ICD-10 will have on financial and clinical record-keeping. Cassidy is senior director of health information management innovation at IT developer Nuance Communications and is a past board president of the American Health Information Management Association.
Nearly every hospital she knows is working on some aspect of ICD-10 preparedness, Cassidy says. That work includes planning and training as well as IT systems implementation and testing, she says.
In addition to ICD-10, seven other hot-button issues received a nod from at least 20% of health leaders taking the survey, indicating that healthcare organizations have their hands full, even with their immediate IT concerns. But that's not all the IT they have to worry about.
Looking at longer-term IT projects, those within the 24-month time frame, ICD-10 again was the most popular pick, chosen by 66% of respondents. Upgrading and adopting clinical and financial systems for accountable care and patient-centered medical homes ranked second among 24-month projects, picked by 30% of leaders in this survey. Rounding out the top three 24-month projects was improving clinician decision-support systems, selected by 28%.
Among health IT status reports, for those “planned, but not started,” joining a health information exchange topped the list, chosen by about 25% of survey respondents. Looking at projects for which “implementation starts within 12 months,” adding a patient portal ranked No. 1, chosen by 30% of survey respondents. The status of projects with “implementation in progress,” also was topped by ICD-10, selected by 51% of survey respondents.
Off-the-radar projects, those “not contemplated,” include implementing a personal health record, which was most often picked by survey participants (26%), while cost tracking came in second at 24%.