Hospital CIOs To Increase IT Spending In 2011

Health IT spending plans in U.S., U.K., and Canada are being pumped up by government programs, reports Ovum.

Hospital CIOs in the U.S. say they're planning to increase IT spending in 2011--and they're not alone. Healthcare CIOs in the United Kingdom and Canada are also upping their IT investments this year, according to a new survey.

Of the 152 hospital CIOs surveyed across North America, Europe, and Australia about their IT budgets and priorities over the next 24 month, 42% said they are increasing IT spending in 2011, according to a new report from U.K-based research firm Ovum.

Almost a quarter, 22%, of the CIOs said they plan significant increases to IT spending in 2011, compared to only 14% who planned big increases last year.

Last year, 22% of healthcare CIOs said they'd slash their IT budgets, but that figure dropped to 17% for 2011.

Government-fueled health IT initiatives appear to be the stimulus for spending increases in the U.S., U.K., and Canada.

In the U.S., thousands of hospitals and doctors are being incentivized with $27 billion in financial rewards starting this year for the meaningfully use of health IT such as e-health records (EHR) and computerized physician order entry systems (CPOE), as part of the HITECH Act signed into law in 2009.

Ovum found that hospital CIOs overall are focusing their IT investments this year on EHR systems, followed closely by digital imaging systems. Telehealth and mobile applications were also among the CIO's spending plans.

In an InformationWeek Analytics' healthcare IT priorities survey of 357 U.S. business technology professionals released earlier this year, the top new IT investment for 2011 was also EHR, followed by CPOE, e-prescribing and new computer hardware. Upgrades to security software and IT infrastructure, including networking, web portals, and storage products also topped spending plans of U.S. health IT leaders in 2011.

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