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Survey shows need for better IT and physician alignment to improve outcomes and reduce burnout

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IT leaders acknowledge that physicians are spending too much time dealing with technology issues instead of spending time with patients

IT systems need to better align with physician needs: ©Gorodenkoff - stock.adobe.com

IT systems need to better align with physician needs: ©Gorodenkoff - stock.adobe.com

A survey from symplr, a health care software company, shows that chief information officers recognize the burden that inefficient technology systems place on physicians and other care providers.

The survey, conducted among members of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), encompassed CIOs, IT leaders, and clinicians from top U.S. health systems. The findings are detailed in the 2023 symplr Compass Report, "From Imminent to Urgent: Aligning Clinicians & IT is Critical to Streamlining Healthcare Operations."

The data illustrates the formidable challenges facing health care leaders, with 80% of respondents highlighting the complexities arising from working with disparate IT systems, and 84% concur that bringing together health care operations software on a single platform could enable clinicians to redirect substantial time back to patient care, potentially reducing burnout and enhancing the management of technology.

"The 2023 symplr Compass Survey data indicates a huge opportunity to consolidate health care operations solutions and give clinicians time back for patient care, which could greatly reduce burnout and make technology easier to manage," said B.J. Schaknowski, chief executive officer, symplr, in a statement.

Key survey findings also include the shift in concerns, as clinician burnout and workforce challenges (41%) surpassed financial pressures (39%) as the foremost threats anticipated by organizations in 2024. Furthermore, 55% of health care organizations currently rely on more than 50 individual point solutions to drive their health care operations.

Clinicians expressed distinct priorities compared to their IT and CIO counterparts. Concerns such as nurse retention, the overall well-being of nurses, technology optimization, and workflow streamlining were identified as more pressing issues by clinicians.

Additionally, the survey highlighted a disparity in user experience perceptions, with 67% of clinicians and 48% of IT/CIOs concurring that their organizations provide a challenging user experience for individuals working across health care operations software, particularly in administrative and non-clinical tasks essential to hospital and health system management.

Schaknowski emphasized the need for alignment, stating, "To do so, health systems must align the right stakeholders and partners to remove barriers between IT and clinicians to stop attrition of health care talent."

The survey findings echo industry trends. McKinsey & Company, for instance, has identified potential time savings of 10-20% for nurses through digital automation to address workforce gaps. The 2023 KLAS Healthcare Operations Report revealed that over 90% of health care workers prioritize technology consolidation for operational efficiency, while Bain & Co.'s 2023 Healthcare Provider IT Report highlighted continued investments in Health Information Technology (HIT), with 75% of respondents anticipating increased software and technology investments in the coming year.

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