HIMSS.15: Health IT leaders name patient satisfaction, engagement as a top priority

CHICAGO—During the next 12 months, 87 percent of healthcare IT leaders said patient satisfaction would be a top priority, according to results of the 26th annual HIMSS leadership survey. Meanwhile, 72 percent of respondents said consumer and patient considerations would significantly impact their organization in the next two years.

Results were released at the HIMSS annual conference on April 13. The web-based survey was conducted between Jan. 9 and Feb. 24, 2015 and included responses from 330 people.

The survey also found 87 percent of respondents said their organization had patient portals to access information, 74 percent said IT could help achieve care coordination and 68 percent said their organization used IT to improve the patient health experience. In addition, 39 percent said their organization used IT to improve the Triple Aim of improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations and reducing the per capita cost of care.

“This year’s survey showed that more than one-third of participants report that their organization was able to demonstrate improvement in all three areas covered in the Triple Aim as a result of their IT use,” John H. Daniels, vice president, strategic relations for HIMSS, said in a news release. “These numbers are critical as they prove the continued progress healthcare is making as IT integrates with value-based care strategies and the growing influence of the patient in health encounters. It will be important for providers to capitalize on this momentum to ensure improved patient satisfaction as the sector begins the transition from Stage 2 to Stage 3 of Meaningful Use.”

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said their organization would increase its IT operating budget in the next year and nearly half said their organization planned on increasing the number of IT staff members.

Although 79 percent of respondents had a high level of agreement with the statement “the executive team at our organization supports IT,” only 42 percent had a high level of agreement with the statement “the executive team has a fairly sophisticated understanding of IT.”

Of the respondents, 45 percent were healthcare system employees, 38 percent worked in hospitals and 9 percent worked for an ambulatory facility or physician office. Further, 35 percent of the respondents were department heads or directors, 31 percent were IT executives, 16 percent were manager-level professionals and 6 percent were chief medical information officers or chief nursing information officers.