by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | March 12, 2020
If given the choice, 35% of hospital executives would have opted for a different EMR vendor than their current one, according to the Hospital Technology Forecast 2020 market report.
Conducted by marketing research firm Sage Growth Partners, the report found pessimistic views among providers when it came to their EMR capabilities, including 27% who believe their EMR will fail to meet their future needs. Such frustration is driving providers to seek out new digital solutions that do not compromise safety, quality or return on investment (ROI), according to Stephanie Kovalick, chief strategy officer at Sage Growth Partners.
“Certainly vendors need to understand their prospects' pain points — hospitals and health systems are under extreme financial pressures,” she told HCB News. “Understanding and illustrating that they understand those pressures is the first step. The second is being able to clearly articulate how their solutions can help add value — how they help solve some of the challenges in healthcare and how [their solutions] help alleviate the multitude of financial challenges.”
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COOs were the most pessimistic at 67%, compared to 37% of CEOs and 34% of CFOs. Out of the 100 C-suite leaders surveyed, 56 percent seek health IT vendors to meet their needs rather than wait for their EMR to provide a tool. Only 30% wait for the capability to be added and 14% create their own in-house solution.
Most list patient safety as the top reason for searching for an IT solution outside the EMR, followed by a greater ROI and greater quality. Sixty percent of C-suite leaders plan to budget up to 3% of net patient revenue for new IT investments, compared to 4% who said they would budget more than 5%. Areas they are investing in outside their EMRs include data/analytics (73%); cybersecurity (70%); revenue cycle management (48%); and patient engagement (43%). Revenue cycle management and data/analytics tie for greatest ROI, followed by cybersecurity and operational efficiency.
This, however, is expected to change, according to the report. While data/analytics will continue to be the top area of health IT investment in the next one to two years, it will be followed by operational efficiency, patient engagement and revenue cycle. The top digital priority, 36% say, is patient self-scheduling, and just over a quarter say it's care coordination. Fifteen percent said patient access to clinical and financial records, while 12% said remote monitoring and 9% said disease management.
More than a quarter of all respondents indicated their vendors reach out to them daily, while 30% get weekly consultations. A quarter say their EMR vendor offers rebates and incentives for adopting tools within the EMR, with 70% of those respondents saying this increases the likelihood that they would choose the EMR solution over a best-of-breed system outside their EMR.