IT Spending Priorities

John Commins, July 17, 2014

In our February Intelligence Report, three-quarters of leaders indicate that their organization's IT operating budget will increase over the next three years. What is the outlook at your organization, and how are you prioritizing your IT spend?

This article first appeared in the July/August 2014 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Vernita E. Todd, MBA
CEO
Heart City Health Center
Elkhart, IN

Vernita E. Todd
Vernita E. Todd

We spent a little more than $800,000 on IT hardware, software, and support since 2009. The budget probably will be adjusted to reflect additional interfaces with our health information exchange and local hospitals.

The support and maintenance of it is really the most exorbitant cost. ICD-10 is a perfect example. We implemented our EMR and within four months, the ICD-10 rules came out and our EMR didn't fit that; then meaningful use came out and our EMR didn't fit that. The need for e-prescribing came out and our EMR didn't fit that. It seems like every year and a half or so we have a change in regulations that requires an adaptation to the EMR. It's not a plug-and-play thing.

You have to make the decisions about the data you are trying to capture way before you build it. Building it and then finding out that these things have changed sometimes takes you all the way back to the beginning of the drawing board. Sometimes it's an easy tweak. But the maintenance and support of that is a significant cost.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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