“Meaningful Use” Frequent Theme in 22nd Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey

Newswise — ORLANDO, Fla. (February 21, 2011) – Federal government initiatives are the driving force behind current healthcare information technology (IT) spending, suggest results of the 22nd Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey, sponsored by Citrix Systems.

Achieving “meaningful use” implementation of certified healthcare IT products clearly was top-of-mind for respondents: half named it their top IT priority for the next two years. That’s up from 42 percent last year, the first year after the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which offers financial incentives to providers and hospitals for the implementation of the meaningful use of healthcare IT products.

One quarter (25 percent) of respondents named reaching Stage 1 of meaningful use requirements as the organization’s key business objective. Stage 1 focuses on effectively capturing data in electronic health records (EHRs).

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents said they were planning to make additional investments to position themselves to qualify for the incentives (up from 59 percent last year) and 42 percent planned to spend at least $1 million to achieve Stage 1 meaningful use requirements. More than four out of five (81 percent) said they expected their organizations to qualify for Stage 1 by 2011 or 2012.

More than a third (36 percent) thought healthcare reform would be the top business issue that would impact healthcare in the next two years, while 17 percent named policy mandates, including compliance with regulations such as the ARRA, ICD-10 and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-5010 (HIPAA).

Additionally, nearly half (48 percent) of survey respondents named the World Health Organization-mandated implementation of revised coding and procedures, ICD-10 (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision), as the top area of focus for financial IT systems at their organizations. This option was not offered in last year’s survey. The top clinical priority at healthcare organizations is ensuring that their organization has a fully operational EHR in place, identified by 24 percent of respondents.

“Healthcare systems are making significant IT investments to meet new mandates and requirements, suggesting they have clear plans for the future,” said Craig Stilwell, Vice President, Americas Field Operations, for Citrix. “The research points to a continued growth in IT spending as companies continue to focus on meaningful use and other government initiatives.”

About three-quarters (76 percent) expected increases in their organization’s IT operating budget, up slightly from last year (72 percent), but a significant increase from 2009 (55 percent). And nearly two-thirds (64 percent) said they anticipated an increase in the number of IT staff.

But lack of budget and staff were also named as the major barriers to IT implementation, according to respondents: lack of adequate support for IT was named by 18 percent (although down from 24 percent a year ago), barely eking out lack of staffing resources (17 percent).

“The ARRA clearly remains the top force in healthcare IT, and likely will for some time,” said C. Martin Harris, M.D., HIMSS Board Chair, Chief Information Officer, Cleveland Clinic. “And although spending levels are up after a dip a few years ago, respondents worry that lack of staffing could be a barrier to successful IT implementation, which is particularly concerning in light of the obvious increasing need in the next few years.”

Other HIMSS 2011 Leadership Survey results include:

 EHR: More than half of respondents (53 percent) say they have a fully operational electronic health record (EHR) in at least one facility in their organization, up from 48 percent last year. HIE: Nearly half (45 percent) of respondents indicated that their organization participates in at least one health information exchange (HIE) in their area; 31 percent say they have not yet planned to participate in an HIE, down from 41 percent in 2010. Security: About one-quarter (26 percent) said their organization has had a security breach in the past 12 months, similar to 2010 (23 percent).  Patient Care: Among a list of choices indicating in which area IT can have the biggest impact on patient care, 41 percent named clinical and quality outcomes, up from 37 percent in 2010.

The self-administered Web-based Leadership Survey was completed by 326 participants between Dec. 3, 2010 and January 31, 2011. Those surveyed represent nearly 700 hospitals throughout the United States. The average bed size of the hospitals was 512 and the median bed size is 330. Eighty percent of respondents said they are senior IT executives at their organizations, and 64 percent report they are corporate-level chief information officers (CIOs). Read the 2011 HIMSS Leadership Survey Report.

About HIMSSHIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded 50 years ago, HIMSS and its related organizations have offices in Chicago, Washington, DC, Brussels, Singapore, Leipzig, and other locations across the United States. HIMSS represents more than 30,000 individual members, of which two thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations. HIMSS also includes over 470 corporate members and more than 85 not-for-profit organizations that share our mission of transforming healthcare through the effective use of information technology and management systems. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare practices and public policy through its content expertise, professional development, and research initiatives designed to promote information and management systems’ contributions to improving the quality, safety, access, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. To learn more about HIMSS and to find out how to join us and our members in advancing our cause, please visit our website at www.himss.org

About CitrixCitrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) is a leading provider of virtual computing solutions that help companies deliver IT as an on-demand service. Founded in 1989, Citrix combines virtualization, networking, and cloud computing technologies into a full portfolio of products that enable virtual workstyles for users and virtual datacenters for IT. More than 230,000 organizations worldwide rely on Citrix to help them build simpler and more cost-effective IT environments. Citrix partners with over 10,000 companies in more than 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2010 was $1.87 billion.

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