The Definitive Blog

“Post EHR-era” causes shift in IT investment

After the creation of the Meaningful Use Program, hospitals began investing big bucks into the establishment of electronic health records (EHRs) with the goal of benefiting from its monetary incentives. However, according to Greg Slabodkin who writes for HealthData Management, hospitals are now entering into a “Post-EHR era” causing a shift in the financial flow of their IT budgets. Since a bulk of hospitals have already invested in and established their EHRs, hospitals are now looking to build on these investments by expanding their IT infrastructure.

According to a survey of about 200 hospital IT decision makers performed by IDC Health Insights, hospitals are now shifting their IT budgets towards investing in products including big data analytics, patient engagement, and cybersecurity. The survey found that 37% of respondents stated that their increased spending was focused on big data analytics, while 32% recognized the need of investing in patient engagement strategies and CRM platforms. For Judy Hanover, the research director for provider IT strategies at IDC Health Insights, this shift in focus comes as no surprise as value-based care encourages hospitals to further involve their patients in their care. This goal of engaging patients is one of the driving forces behind this emphasis on patient portals, mobile health apps, and electronic communication that inspire engagement.

Additionally, 29% of hospitals stated that they have begun to focus in on improving their data security. According to Definitive Healthcare, over 350 hospitals and health systems have experienced a data breach in the past, further boosting an interest in cybersecurity. Hospitals are prioritizing their data security in a way that affects the whole enterprise and focuses in on their security in the cloud. Hanover argues that hospitals are also becoming more comfortable with security in the cloud, encouraging hospitals to take the cloud more seriously and driving an increase in cloud investment.

Definitive Healthcare has estimated each hospital’s IT capital budget, shown below. It’s impossible to know how these budgets break down by technology type, but anecdotal evidence supports the findings of the IDC survey. Definitive is constantly surveying hospitals on changes in their technology infrastructure, and identified over 3,800 non-EHR technology implementations or upgrades in 2015 alone.

 

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Definitive Healthcare has the most up-to-date, comprehensive and integrated data on hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers. In addition to EHRs, we track providers’ use of applications for business intelligence, clinical systems, coding/transcriptions, medication administration, revenue cycle management, and more.

February 16, 2016