Where health system CIOs predict tech spending will increase, decrease

As the health IT field changes at a rapid pace with new technologies emerging and health system needs evolving, CIOs are rethinking where to put their investment dollars in order to improve their productivity, patient care and workflows. 

Below five health system CIOs tell Becker's where the top areas are for new and decreased technology spending. 

Note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

Zafar Chaudry, MD. Chief Digital and Information Officer and Senior Vice President of Seattle Children's Hospital. Over the next few years we are going to see more spending to address the technology debt that many health systems have accumulated including replacement/refresh of legacy systems, hardware refreshes and a movement to cloud vs. on-premise. 

Analytics will also remain a strong spend area with a paradigm shift to prescriptive analytics leveraging NLP and AI. 

Saad Chaudhry. CIO of Luminis Health (Annapolis, Md). Decreasing spending in areas that are now tried and tested with hosted solutions. 

Most are trying to get out of the business of having to worry about racks and data centers. This, by its very nature, is increasing spending on the hosted side, which usually means switching to heavier operating expenses in your budgets, while saving on the periodic capital costs of hardware and data center upgrades. 

Even the large EHR companies like Epic have doubled-down on this, boasting customers in the triple-digits availing of their hosted option. 

Erick Schrier. CIO of Door County Medical Center (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.). As healthcare IT is becoming more and more focused on patient experience and engagement, I see increased spending in digital front door technologies and automation.  

Cybersecurity will continue to be another area of increased expenditures as insurance companies tighten up their requirements for annual coverage.  

Rich Rogers. Senior Vice President and CIO of PrismaHealth (Greenville, S.C.). In new areas, we will see an increase in spending in advanced analytics, cybersecurity and digital transformation. 

That being said, we will see a decrease in traditional data centers and large employed staff.  

Linda Stevenson, CIO of Fisher-Titus Medical Center (Norwalk, Ohio). [There will be increases in] anything patient engaging or patient facing, to tie them to the organization and help them improve caring for themselves. Also, any solutions that improve productivity and streamline alearting and workflows, Last, of course, is cybersecurity improvements.

A decrease in spending will be consulting and external professional services, since the costs are so high.

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