This is the second year in a row that health IT has been the most commonly cited capital investment, but the percentage has risen from 46 percent in spring 2013 and from 45 percent in spring 2012. Additionally, 27% of respondents cited Health IT as the biggest driver of costs in their health system.
Spending on clinical healthcare information accounts for between 25% and 35% of an average hospital's capital budget.
While he thinks modern EHRs have come a long way from where they were even five years ago, Michael O'Rourke, senior vice president and chief information officer at Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives, a non-profit health system, can easily tally the major painpoints caused by EHRs.
Along with the transition to digital, problems with availability, interoperability and security begin to crop up. "If there's a glitch or planned downtime, it's very hard on our clinicians. But unplanned downtime— now, that's very, very tough on them," O'Rourke says, of staff in CHI's 89 hospitals in 18 states.
Many clinicians, he adds, have felt that their workflow has been disrupted by moving from the time-honored pencil and paper medical chart system to digital, causing widespread frustration with the new records systems.