What puts the most pressure on hospitals? 6 top factors

Pressure on hospitals is shifting from simple cost-cutting issues to increased attention on healthcare reform initiatives focused on value and outcomes, according to Ernst & Young's 2014 report, "Pulse of the industry: Differentiating differently."

Ernst & Young surveyed 162 healthcare workers, 85 in clinical roles and 77 in administrative or managerial roles, in order to evaluate attitudes and sources of pressure on hospitals. The survey revealed reducing the total cost of care is currently and will continue to be a main priority for hospitals, but improving value and outcomes will become an increasingly significant source of pressure.

According to the survey, the factors placing the most pressure on hospitals today are:

  • Cost cutting — 44 percent
  • Cost of upgrading or maintaining IT systems — 41 percent
  • High-end medical technology costs (non-imaging) — 37 percent
  • Rising drug costs — 33 percent
  • Imaging costs — 22 percent
  • Healthcare reform initiatives — 21 percent

The factors survey respondents predict will place the most pressure on hospitals in three years are:

  • Healthcare reform initiatives — 34 percent (13 percent increase compared to the current level of pressure)
  • High-end medical technology costs (non-imaging) — 38 percent (1 percent increase)
  • Cost-cutting — 37 percent (7 percent decrease)
  • Cost of upgrading or maintaining IT systems — 40 percent (1 percent decrease)
  • Rising drug costs — 27 percent (6 percent decrease)
  • Imaging costs — 12 percent (10 percent decrease)

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