Tackling Healthcare Priorities with Technology

Edward Prewitt, February 14, 2012

Our fourth annual Industry Survey, comprising the views of over 1,000 healthcare executives from a cross-section of organizations across the country, shows technology as a fairly low priority—sixth out of 12 concerns. Health IT, EMR, clinical technology, and other types and uses of technology are a top priority for only 29% of leaders. Move along, nothing here to see?

Yet when you examine executives' highest priorities, technology isn't far under the surface. The top priority listed in our survey is patient experience and satisfaction. While the actions of physicians and nurses most directly affect patient care, caregivers today rely on technology to get their jobs done.

Obviously, clinical technology such as informatics is important in this instance, but healthcare IT also has a big impact. Electronic health records can play an enormous role in improving patient experience. Is anything more powerful in caring for a patient than comprehensive health information delivered quickly?

The second highest priority in our Industry Survey is clinical quality and safety. A study sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation linked clinical quality with computerized physician order entry (CPOE), which reduces the likelihood of errors in medication. Clinical informatics and clinical decision support can also protect quality and safety. Payment reform, in the form of accountable care, is another top priority. EHRs and other electronic linkages are prerequisites for new models of shared savings.

Edward Prewitt Edward Prewitt is the Editorial Director of HealthLeaders Media. Twitter
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