52% of healthcare CIOs said patient engagement is top priority + 4 other report findings

Patient engagement is the top priority for healthcare CIOs as patients expect more convenience in healthcare, according to a May 19 report by health IT consulting firm Stoltenberg Consulting.

The survey polled 65 CIOs from hospitals, health systems and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives in March.

Five report findings:

  1. Fifty-nine percent of healthcare CIOs said getting the most out of their existing IT purchases, such as an EHR, is the biggest financial goal of the year, followed by maximizing value-based care reimbursement (20 percent), improving and sustaining the speed and accuracy of financial reporting (11 percent), and reducing claims denials and speeding up patients' payments (9 percent).

  2. Fifty-five percent of respondents listed retaining and budgeting for qualified IT resources as the biggest operational burden after significant IT spending went toward changes made reacting to the pandemic.

  3. The pandemic has shifted patient expectations toward healthcare. Outside of COVID-19, more than half (52 percent) of CIOs said patient engagement is the top priority for the year, kicking off last year's top spot, artificial intelligence. Only 14 percent of CIOs are still prioritizing AI.

  4. Thirty-one percent of respondents said they plan to invest the most IT money on EHR upgrades, followed by cybersecurity (25 percent), maximizing data analytics programs (22 percent) and telehealth support (20 percent).

  5. EHR upgrades might be where budgets are focused, but cybersecurity is the critical IT mission for 33 percent of respondents, followed by EHR upgrades (30 percent), system consolidation from mergers and acquisitions (19 percent) and software patching (17 percent).

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