Survey: Hospital leaders weigh in on 5 'top of mind' IT issues for 2018

A host of IT priorities compete for health system leaders' attention as they prepare for 2018, according to a survey released Dec. 7.

To obtain the data, the Pittsburgh-based Center for Connected Medicine and the Health Management Academy distributed surveys to chief informatics officers, chief medical informatics officers or chief nursing informatics officers and conducted interviews with CEOs, CFOs and chief informatics officers from more than 20 major health systems.

The Center for Connected Medicine is an executive briefing center operated by GE Healthcare, IBM, Lenovo Health, Nokia and Pittsburgh-based UPMC.

Here's how health system leaders responded when asked about five growing health IT trends.

1. Consumer-facing technology. One hundred percent of respondents indicated they plan to promote health and wellness apps to consumers in 2018. Seventeen percent also said they expect mHealth apps to be a source of valuable patient-generated data in 2018.

2. Cybersecurity. Ninety-two percent of respondents plan to increase technology spending to boost cybersecurity in 2018. Two-thirds of respondents said they will add cybersecurity staff next year and 42 percent said they plan to increase IT leadership dedicated to cybersecurity.

3. Predictive analytics. The most commonly-reported challenge for implementing predictive analytics was resource allocation (67 percent). Fifty-seven percent of respondents are using or plan to roll out genomic testing to provide personalized medicine to patients in 2018. 

4. Virtual care. The majority of respondents have already added telehealth services in stroke (79 percent) and mental health (58 percent) care. A significant portion of respondents said they are planning to add remote services related to mental health (33 percent) and urgent care (29 percent) in 2018.

5. Artificial intelligence. Sixty-three percent of respondents reported implementing AI solutions was a "low" or "very low" priority for their organization. The most common place in which AI has already been deployed, according to respondents, is clinical decision support (46 percent).

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