EHR optimization, pop health top CIOs' investment wish list
- Healthcare CIOs plan to invest heavily in EHR optimization and population health over the next three yeas, according to a survey by KPMG of College of Healthcare Information Management Executives members.
- In all, 38% of CIOs cited optimizing EHRs as their chief investment priority, while 21% said they will invest in accountable care and population health technologies.
- Other high priorities for investment in the coming years include consumer/clinical and operational analytics (16%), virtual/telehealth technology enhancements (13%), revenue cycle systems replacement (7%) and enterprise resource planning systems and replacements (6%).
Eighteen percent of respondents expect their organizations to boost spending on health IT over the next 12 months, and 36% expect operating budgets to increase during the next two years. Roughly 25% of respondents said their organizations were investing in strengthening cloud computing infrastructure, and 18% said those investments included ERP solutions. Other critical cloud functions include EHRs, enterprise system solutions and disaster recovery.
The biggest challenges with cloud computing are around data loss/privacy, applications not being fully optimized and integration with existing architecture, KPMG says. While 80% of CIOs said their strategic role within their organization is growing, only half had a “clear digital business vision and strategy.”
That 38% of CIOs named EHR optimization as their top investment priority underscores the need for better security and interoperability. Security experts say hospitals need to integrate internal and external information to detect potential cyberattacks and develop stronger backup and recovery capabilities. In a recent blog post, John Halamka, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, included cybersecurity, along with enabling EHR infrastructure and improving data sharing, among five top health IT challenges the Trump administration should tackle.