PITTSBURGH, September 23, 2020 — In the eighth annual Health IT Industry Outlook Survey conducted by Stoltenberg Consulting Inc., a leading healthcare information technology consulting firm, 42 percent of healthcare industry respondents identified “retaining and budgeting for qualified IT resources” as the biggest operational burden, followed by “IT service failures (i.e., system downtimes or cybersecurity hits)” at 24%, and “provider burnout or inefficiency from EHR frustration” at 21%. This resource strain emerges with COVID-19’s financial impact, as most healthcare facilities have slashed IT budgets, directly impacting system and user support span. Amplifying the concern, the survey found that one-third of healthcare organizations feel unprepared for the COVID-19 financial aftermath.
Throughout the pandemic, healthcare leaders have pushed for more meaningful data insights to mitigate clinical care and end-user support needs. When asked, “What is the top area of IT where you wish you could have stronger support?” respondents were almost even in their desire for support toward “applicable data analytics insights” (34%) and “the IT help desk” (32%).
When considering where healthcare organizations will invest the most IT dollars in the next year, “maximizing data analytics program” took the top spot (37%). This was closely followed by “applying AI initiatives” (34%), while EHR version upgrades (18%) and cybersecurity measures (11%) fell in IT investment rankings.
“Because of COVID-19’s financial hit, we’re seeing significant push on hospital IT departments to both find cost savings opportunities and make do with resource limitations moving forward,” said Joncé Smith, Vice President of Revenue Cycle Management at Stoltenberg Consulting. “It’s time for health systems to put their data analytics initiatives to the test to proactively identify operational and user support efficiencies.”
Keeping up with value-based care alignment and health system growth, 45% of healthcare participants said that EHR version upgrades were their organization’s “most recent or near-future mission-critical IT event.” Other responses included “system, server or software patching” (29%), “EHR system downtime” (16%), and “system consolidation” (11%).
Stoltenberg conducted the 2020 survey virtually. Survey participants represented a comprehensive spectrum of provider facilities, including health systems, standalone hospitals, physician practices and other ambulatory care facilities. Of the respondents, 53% were health IT professionals, 26% held healthcare executive/c-suite titles, and 21% held various clinical, financial or other titles.
About Stoltenberg Consulting
Stoltenberg Consulting’s 2020 Best in KLAS Partial IT Outsourcing program, FlexSourcing, breaks free from outdated managed services contracts. FlexSourcing’s on-demand support seamlessly navigates healthcare organizations through mission critical events—all while delivering true IT outsourcing flexibility and ROI. Averaging 15 years of experience, Stoltenberg consultants are skilled in both financial and clinical systems with best practice expertise for Epic, Cerner Millennium, Cerner Soarian, MEDITECH, NextGen, Allscripts and eClinicalWorks customers. To see how Stoltenberg simplifies healthcare technology, visit www.stoltenberg.com.