Beacon Partners has released a study on the state of health information exchange (HIE) development, based on responses from 200 C-suite hospital execs. More than half of the respondents were CIOs, and 58% of those CIOs are from community hospitals. Twenty-five percent of respondents have a net patient service revenue (NPSR) of less than $50 million; only 24% of respondents have a NPSR of over $250 million.
Following are some of the key findings:
In the Works
Nearly 70% of respondents said their organization is currently planning for an HIE, and 64% of said the CIO is the person responsible for HIE development. CEOs and COOs separately were responsible at less 10% of responding facilities, in a virtual tie with “Unsure.” While the CIO is clearly responsible for HIE development, nearly half of the organizations responding said they have not yet designated a department, oversight group or executive role to a development effort.
High start-up costs and insufficient capital to support HIEs (41%) remains the top concern. Capitalization of projects and projecting annual operating costs to move forward are both necessary, important matters, followed by “not enough I.T. systems to support HIEs” at around 17%, and physician and staff alignment (13%) and regulatory issues (13%). Among respondent titles, high start-up costs/not enough capital to support HIEs was the top concern for COOs (55%), CFOs (46%), CIOs (41%), CEOs (40%) and CMOs (36%).
The annual budgets for HIE development are low, according to the report authors. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said their organizations are budgeting less than $1 million, and 14% reported budgets between $1 million and $3 million. Only 5% plan to spend more than $3 million; 21% of respondents said they currently have no budget.
Single-vendor solutions significantly outweighed a best-of-breed approach for patient demographics, business/operating systems and clinical and health records. Respondents selected a single-vendor solution for inpatients (73%), ambulatory areas (68%) and physician practices (53%).
Many components of an HIE received high marks from respondents, who answered that the following HIE components would have a positive impact on their organization: Primary care connectivity (88%), continuum of care transitions (84%), Clinical quality reporting (74%), Patient accessibility (67%), Interoperable IT systems (66%) and medical staff alignment efforts (59%).