Electronic Health Records

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Health IT Improves Triple Aim in HIMSS Leadership Survey

By Vera Gruessner

- Today the 26th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey was released at the 2015 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago. The results show that 68 percent of respondents claim that health IT is effectively improving the triple aim – boosting the patient experience, reducing the costs of healthcare, and advancing population health outcomes.

The triple aim was developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which also developed a system for optimizing the progress of health systems. The survey shows that two-thirds of respondents saw an improvement among the patient experience, 53 percent believe that health IT lowers medical costs, and 51 percent observed better population health outcomes due to health IT and EHR adoption.

More than 300 participants were surveyed on important healthcare issues such as the patient experience, privacy and security concerns, federal regulations, and health insurance models. Out of all respondents, 72 percent view the next two years of their practice’s efforts to be geared toward consumer considerations such as patient engagement, quality of care, and overall patient satisfaction.

Top leaders acknowledge that health IT is still an important part of running a successful medical practice. The survey shows that 81 percent of respondents state that IT is a strategic part of their organization’s healthcare solutions while 76 percent recognized that their IT plan boosts their business strategy.

It seems that the spread of healthcare information technology comes from top executives and managers within medical entities and is further trickled down to the physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. The survey illustrated that 79 percent of respondents stated that the executive team of their organization supports health IT while 72 percent of survey takers said their organization’s Board of Directors also approve of and encourage IT growth.

Additionally, the IT operating budget is expected to increase in the next year among two-thirds of survey takers. Almost half of respondents – 49 percent – expect that health IT staffing will increase at their organization over the next 12 months.

In addition to the increase staffing and budgets in the health IT arena, 74 percent of survey takers believe IT to be a useful tool for enhancing care coordination. As many as 87 percent of respondents also stated their facility includes a patient portal through which patients may access their health information.

“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 of Strategic Relations at HIMSS, said in a public statement. “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.”

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