New leadership survey: IT professionals remain focused on patient satisfaction, engagement

According to the 26th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey, 87% of healthcare organizations view patient satisfaction as their biggest priority for the next year. In addition, 72% of respondents said patient engagement, satisfaction and quality of care would have the biggest impact on their organization over the next two years.

For the survey, 330 IT professionals were interviewed about the use of IT at their organization. The data was collected from Jan. 9 to Feb. 24.

A total of 87% of respondents said their organization has a patient portal in place for accessing health information online. A recent HIMSS survey painted a more negative picture of the sector’s current attitude toward patient engagement.

HIMSS also looked at how organizations are doing in all three facets of the Triple Aim, a framework defined by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement as, “Better care for individuals, better health for populations, and lower per capita costs.”

·         68% of IT professionals noticed an improved patient health experience

·         51% of IT professionals said IT is improving population health

·         53% of IT professionals said IT is reducing the cost of healthcare

“These numbers are critical as they prove the continued progress healthcare is making as IT integrates with value-based care strategies and the growing influence of the patient in health encounters,” said John H. Daniels, the HIMSS vice president of strategic relations, in a press release. “It will be important for providers to capitalize on this momentum to ensure improved patient satisfaction as the sector begins the transition from Stage 2 to Stage 3 of Meaningful Use.”

One result of the sustained focus on patient engagement and EHR adoption appears to be that many healthcare organizations will soon have bigger IT budgets and more employees. According to the survey, just under 66% of respondents said their organization would increase its IT operating budget in the next year; and 49% said their organization expected to add IT staff positions in the next year.

A full infographic detailing some of the survey’s results can be found on the HIMSS website.