Healthcare providers generally satisfied with IT

October 28, 2010

Healthcare providers responding to CompTIA?s Second Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities survey said that they generally are satisfied with the information technology solutions they now use in their practices, but they?re also interested in improved reliability and performance as well as lower costs for future purchases.

Healthcare providers responding to CompTIA's Second Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities survey said that they generally are satisfied with the information technology (IT) solutions they now use in their practices, but theyÕre also interested in improved reliability and performance as well as lower costs for future purchases.

In the survey, 34% of healthcare provider respondents reported using a comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) system, whereas 16% said they are using a partial system. The remaining segments said they either are evaluating their options (29%) or have not yet started the process (20%).

Among survey participants from practices that have implemented EHR systems, satisfaction rates generally were high, although physicians expressed a desire for systems that are faster, easier to use, have better interoperability, and cost less.

Roughly one in four doctors and dentists surveyed said they planned to purchase a tablet personal computer for their practice over the next 12 months, putting this product near the top of their shopping lists. Significant numbers of healthcare providers participating in the survey also said that plan to purchase flat-panel TVs over the next 12 months, presumably to provide a better waiting room experience for patients.

The survey found that relatively few doctors take advantage of email or text messaging to communicate with patients-for instance to send reminders about upcoming appointments-but many said they want to move in this direction and generally further leverage communication tools and information platforms.

About one-half of healthcare practices will increase their IT expenditures in the next 12 months, according to survey results, with the remaining portion of practices either holding budgets flat or reducing their IT spending. Group practices are most likely to increase spending, whereas solo practices are relatively more likely to keep IT spending levels flat. Overall, one in three healthcare practices expects to increase IT spending by more than 5% over the next year.

The study was fielded in two separate Web-based surveys to 370 U.S. IT firms, about 40% of which do business in the healthcare sector, and 300 U.S. healthcare providers, including doctors, dentists, nurses, physician assistants, and office managers.