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1Healthcare IT Priorities for 2011 An Inside Look

Currently HIMSS reports that the average information systems operating expense is about 2.4 percent of total expenses for U.S. hospitals.

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Approximately 76 percent of respondents said their organization’s operating budget for 2011 would increase over 2010.

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Close to half said their budget would definitely increase, while 30 percent said it would probably increase.

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Among those who reported an expected budget increase, 45 percent said it was due to the overall growth in the number of systems and technologies they were entrusted to manage.

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Approximately 42 percent also attributed increased budget as a result of the need for more staff and consultants to help comply with government regulations.

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Two-thirds of respondents reported that they anticipated an increase in the number of IT staff at their organization in the next 12 months

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Around 14 percent of respondents said their IT budget would be unchanged this year.

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Another 9 percent reported that their budget would decrease in 2011.

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Two-thirds of these reported budget difficulties as a result of overall budget declines within their organizations.

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Among all respondents, half reported that the IT issue with the highest priority over the next two years would be achieving ‘meaningful use’ of electronic health records to receive government dollars laid out in economic stimulus law.

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Approximately 22 percent of respondents said their top IT priority was to focus on clinical systems such as computerized practitioner order entry, electronic health records or e-prescribing.

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When it comes to infrastructure needs, servers and virtual servers were identified by nearly one-quarter of respondents as a top priority.

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Vendors’ inability to effectively deliver products or services to the satisfaction of hospitals was cited as a top IT barrier to success by about 11 percent of participants.