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Hospital purchasing projections: Patient engagement, population health in, data security … not so much

In a sign that hospitals and health systems are perhaps moving faster to embrace data analytics technology, 60 percent of all facilities plan on investing in IT infrastructure in 2015 that could support it and other efforts related to population health and patient engagement, according to report by Peer60. Not surprisingly, ICD-10 migration topped the […]

In a sign that hospitals and health systems are perhaps moving faster to embrace data analytics technology, 60 percent of all facilities plan on investing in IT infrastructure in 2015 that could support it and other efforts related to population health and patient engagement, according to report by Peer60.

Not surprisingly, ICD-10 migration topped the list of planned issues for hospital IT staffs, with 58 percent of all hospital leaders indicating it was a priority. The number jumps to 70 percent among groups that will specifically be working with the transition.

“Given the impacts this migration will have on hospital operations and fiscal health, this isn’t very surprising,” the report stated.

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Yet patient engagement and population health solutions ranked high among issues of importance, although many hospitals are still unsure of which vendor or approach they will select. The findings come shortly after a number of experts simultaneously said providers weren’t moving quickly on patient engagement efforts.

“The critical market for patient engagement is still forming as almost 40 percent of hospitals don’t have a solution yet,” the report said. “That isn’t stopping hospitals that already have patient engagement solutions from making changes, though.”

That there is still a high level of uncertainty on future purchasing “indicates that many people within hospitals know what is going on with Patient Engagement,” the report added. “Most C-Level executives and management in operations and quality seem to be aware of what is happening.”

With population health management, more than 50 percent of hospitals said they will be selecting a new solution this year, which “makes quite a bit of sense given that legislation is forcing hospitals to move towards value and quality of patient care,” the report notes.

That will very likely push population health to the top of the priority list in the coming year and years.

“In other words, the population health management market in 2015 is going to be absolutely gigantic,” the report states.

While patient engagement and population health appear to increasing in importance, data security does not seem to stack up despite the potential losses in the tens of millions of dollars range. About 25 percent of hospital said they are planning to make a purchase in 2015, according to the report.

“Maybe a little more pain will spur more action,” the report said.

Data Analytics, on the other hand, is still of great interest, with 60 percent of CIOs saying their organization will “make some sort of purchase” in the space in 2015. Overall, more than 26 percent of hospital leaders said they plan to purchase an enterprise analytics suite or at least one analytics tool. Interestingly, 30 percent of those purchases were or would be first-time, instead of replacements.

“So this space is still very much in its infancy, relatively speaking,” the report said.

The report gauged responses from more than 950 hospital leadership staff, or about one quarter of all hospitals in the U.S., according to Peer60. More than 80 percent of responses came from C-level executives.