Nearly two-thirds of healthcare providers rate themselves as being behind the curve on their digital health initiatives, citing clinician resistance and interoperability issues as the top barriers.
On behalf of Unisys Corp., HIMSS recently surveyed 220 IT decision makers at U.S. hospitals and health systems and asked them to rank their organization based on how they are leveraging digital and mobile technologies to improve the patient experience, lower the cost of care delivery and improve clinician/staff efficiencies.
They were then rated as being ahead of the curve (early adopters/early majority) or behind the curve (late majority/laggards). Of those surveyed, 64 percent rated themselves as being behind the curve, including 20 percent who were rated as laggards. Only 11 percent of organizations were rated as early adopters when it came to adoption and implementation of digital technologies.
When asked about the barriers to advancing digital health initiatives, ‘behind the curve’ respondents cited challenges starting with clinician resistance to adopting new solutions (51 percent) and difficulties integrating legacy systems with new digital/mobile technologies (50 percent). Availability of skilled IT staff (48 percent) and the identification/remediation of cybersecurity threats (45 percent) were also cited as challenges.
The survey also looked at the key initiatives that digital health technologies support. Only 16 percent of laggards had a comprehensive data governance plan, and only 9 percent of laggards said their organization was able to successfully apply data to determine the best course of action, compared to 83 percent and 78 percent of early adopters, respectively. Additionally, only 13 percent of laggards said that their medical devices could securely communicate with electronic health records.