40% of U.S. health care providers’ IT budgets are growing
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40% of U.S. health care providers’ IT budgets are growing

A new report from IDC (www.idc.com) examining the results of the “2015–2016 Healthcare Provider Technology Spend Survey” reveals that while 40% of providers reported their IT budgets are still growing, only 25% of providers with growing budgets attribute the growth to electronic health records (EHR), providing evidence that the post-EHR era is upon us as providers turn to optimizing the business for accountable care, adding analytics and care management, and away from massive enterprise EHR projects.

The new survey specifically examines technology spending and planned technology spending by U.S. acute care hospitals with more than 200 beds. The results indicate that we are at the beginning of the post-EHR/post–meaningful use era in healthcare IT. The hospitals responding to the survey overwhelmingly reported confidence in their ability to manage meaningful use. Hospitals were somewhat less confident in their ability to manage healthcare reform requirements other than meaningful use. Additional key findings from the new report include:

° Across all of the technologies examined in the survey, providers are taking advantage of more cloud implementations and leveraging mobile and analytics capabilities in the cloud. While 50% of software spending growth is still directed toward on-premise investments, survey respondents reported that 18% of new software spend is going into software as a service (SaaS) and 24% is going into projects that leverage managed hosting by a third party.

° Comfort levels with cloud are growing. Across all hospitals, 30% of the respondents said they were comfortable with cloud in 2014, while an additional 41.5% respondents said they were more comfortable with cloud in 2015 than they were in 2014. Barriers to cloud adoption, primarily comfort levels with security and compliance, are clearly coming down.

° Across all hospitals, top reasons for budget growth included analytics, patient security strategies are maturing. Cybersecurity is one of the new growth areas in the provider IT budget, and this growth is expected to continue in 2016. Threats are top of mind, but the increased availability of resources for IT security is allowing providers to begin to implement strategies to secure data and networks. Top priorities included focusing on security in the cloud, monitoring the environment, and controlling shadow IT.

° Analytics spending continues to grow, and big data is here to stay. Analytics continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments of the provider IT budget in 2016 as it has been for several years. Ongoing investment in ACO, clinical, and quality will continue in 2016, but hot areas of new analytics investment reported also include provider and care team performance analytics, as well as analytics that examine referral patterns and other financial analytics areas.

 

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