Top Hospital IT Priorities

The 26th annual HIMSS Leadership Survey showed consistency with prior year priorities, but with increased focus on improving patient satisfaction and the quality of care, which now occupy the top two spots. No doubt the guidelines and regulations set forth in the Affordable Care Act have health IT leadership fully engaged in their organizations’ pursuit of compliance and avoidance of penalties. Sustaining financial viability comes in next, while improving care coordination and operational efficiency/lowering costs round out the top 5.

While these may not be particularly surprising, what is surprising is the apparent lack of understanding about inter-dependency of all these priorities. There is still a tendency to address each priority area as its own problem, with its own IT solution, and not to unpack the “cause and effect” relationship one priority area has on the other. To do this, IT departments must involve front line clinicians, not just the C-Suite, in problem identification, best practice, and corrective action. By doing this, IT can better understand the intricacies of clinical processes, the bottlenecks that occur, and the communication failures that lead to errors, omissions, and duplications of effort that waste time, money, and compromise outcomes.

Below is an excerpt from the 2015 HIMSS Leadership Survey and the top hospital IT priorities:

“While a majority of respondents to the 26th annual HIMSS Leadership Survey reported an increasingly higher stature for IT within their organizations, information system departments will be supporting new initiatives in the years ahead, as healthcare organizations focus on changes in reimbursement. HIMSS released results of its survey during its annual conference and exposition in Chicago. Results are based on responses from 330 respondents. Data showed increased reliance on healthcare IT to achieve improved care delivery.

Some 87 percent of respondents said improving patient satisfaction would be a top priority for their organization in the next 12 months. Improving patient care, quality of care or outcomes ranked second as a top priority, followed closely by sustaining financial viability, named by 86 percent of respondents. Rounding out the top five are improving care coordination (75 percent) and improving operational efficiency and lowering operating costs (72 percent).”

For more survey details, please follow this link:

Optimium Health brings over 25 years of clinical process and Health IT expertise to this discussion. Importantly, we ensure both hospital staff and patient satisfaction scores improve and that operational efficiency will lead to lower costs. Our clients consistently achieve a break-even on investment in less than 3 months. If you would like to learn more about how Optimium Health can help your organization, please contact Heather Guild at

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