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Healthcare IT Executives Face Increasing Pressure to Innovate

February 27, 2018 | HANOVER, MD | For media inquiries, please contact us at media@TEKsystems.com.

Despite Having Potential to Shape the Future of Healthcare, Development of Certain Key Initiatives Lagging; Effective Workforce Management Programs Absent

Leading into HIMSS18,TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT services, today released data that provides insights on the status of key IT initiatives and central topics of the healthcare-focused event, including security, information exchange and interoperability, data analytics, business/clinical intelligence, and population health. In addition to identifying the implementation status of mission-critical services, data indicates that while healthcare IT leaders face increasing pressure to innovate, technologies such as IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) are not yet being leveraged to drive innovation

Results are based on a surveys which polled almost 200 healthcare IT leaders (e.g., CIOs, IT vice presidents, IT directors and IT hiring managers) in late 2017 / early 2018 on a range of key issues, including technology maturity, workforce planning, critical roles and the top trends shaping healthcare IT today.

Key highlights include:

Majority of Healthcare Organizations Securely Integrating and Analyzing Data; External-Facing Initiatives Late to Implementation Stage

Q: At what stage is your organization with regard to the following?

 

Nothing planned for foreseeable future (0-12 months)

Interested / Planning stage (expect to take action within next 12-24 months)

Implementation / Evaluation / Refinement phase

Information Security

0%

13%

86%

Digital Health Systems

6%

19%

75%

Quality Reporting

6%

19%

75%

Analytics and Business Intelligence

7%

17%

75%

Interoperability

6%

19%

74%

Consumer-Focused Healthcare

9%

19%

72%

IT Performance / Risk Management

7%

21%

72%

EMR Optimization

21%

10%

69%

Telemedicine

29%

20%

51%

Population Health Management

22%

28%

50%

TEKsystems’ Take: Information security projects are the most mature when considering the technology most impactful to healthcare organizations. This is expected, given the importance of protecting data and adhering to federal and state regulations related to patient care. Other than security, healthcare is placing resources behind IT initiatives that make organizations more efficient operationally speaking, such as digital health systems, before progressing to patient-facing technologies, such as telemedicine and population health management.

Foundational, Enabling IT in Place; Automation, AI and IoT Yet to be Fully Leveraged

Q. At what stage is your organization with regard to the following initiatives?

 

Nothing planned for foreseeable future (0 - 12 months)

Interested / Planning - Implementation / Evaluation / Refinement phase

IoT

50%

50%

AI

50%

50%

Automation / Machine Learning

47%

53%

Cloud Computing

18%

82%

Mobile Applications

17%

84%

TEKsystems’ Take: The pressure for healthcare IT departments to drive innovation is extremely high with 90 percent of healthcare IT executives indicating that the department is expected to drive innovation. While the vast majority of organizations have taken advantage of cloud infrastructures and mobility applications, both IoT and AI are essentially at a tipping point–half those surveyed had nothing on the planning horizon, while the other half were in various phases of evaluation and implementation. This could delay technologies and applications that have the potential to shape healthcare in the coming years, such as connected health and telemedicine. TEKsystems believes that a key reason for the delay is the heightened need for healthcare organizations to adhere to regulatory requirements and a higher security standard. AI in particular is viewed as potentially transformative and could usher in a new wave of innovative applications for healthcare.

Few Implement Formal Strategic Workforce Planning Strategies; Even Fewer Successfully Leverage it, Leaving Critical IT Roles Unfilled

 

Q: Does your organization have a formal strategic workforce planning strategy? [select only one]

Q: Do you consider your organization successful in using workforce planning to match skill availability with upcoming initiatives/projects? [select only one]

Yes

40%

29%

No / Don't Know

60%

71%

Q: What positions are most difficult to find exceptional talent for? [top 3 selected]

Position

Rank

Security

Software Developer / Engineer / DevOps

30% (1)

30% (1)

IT Management

Clinical Applications

25% (2)

25% (2)

Business / Systems Analyst

23% (3)

Project Manager

Healthcare Informatics

20% (4)

20% (4)

Data Analyst

13% (5)

Implementation Consultant

10% (6)

Scrum Master / Agile Coach

8% (7)

TEKsystems’ Take: The fact that relatively few healthcare IT organizations employ formal strategic workforce planning strategies (40 percent)—and even fewer (29 percent) say they are effective—is perhaps not surprising given slow progress on several mission-critical services and initiatives. Especially since the majority of healthcare IT leaders name hiring qualified IT professionals quickly the most difficult aspect of workforce planning, which could drive the adoption of strategic workforce planning. Given the importance of security with respect to healthcare IT initiatives and projects, and the pressure to enable innovation—generally in the form of applications and services— well-qualified security, and software developers / engineers / DevOps pros remain the most difficult to find.

“Healthcare IT is starting to make progress in some key areas, including digital health systems, EMR optimization and IT performance / risk management. However, organizations are lagging when it comes to the technologies and initiatives that have the potential to change the delivery and effectiveness of healthcare, most notably AI and IoT. AI in particular has the potential to decrease medical error, improve diagnostic accuracy and outcomes, optimize revenue, and streamline operations.” says Matt Payne, executive director of TEKsystems Healthcare Services. “Healthcare IT teams in 2018 will focus on implementing new IT applications and infrastructure, setting the stage for innovation while maintaining critical functions and operations such as data security and analytics. The challenge for finding talent with the right skill sets remains, as healthcare IT requires not only technical skill, but industry expertise and familiarity with compliance standards unique to the field. With only 4 in 10 of those surveyed expressing a preference for talent with industry knowledge versus technical expertise, organizations will need to be creative in how they approach sourcing talent that combines the necessary balance of both disciplines. However, perhaps due to the sensitive nature of the industry in protecting information and mitigating risk, IT teams in healthcare are seen as greater partners in driving innovation and directing digital strategy than in other industries.”

TEKsystems will be exhibiting at HIMSS18 in booth No. 6421 from March 6–8 at the Venetian Convention Center, as well as co-presenting an education session, “Build A Next-Gen IT Team to Embrace Digital Disruption,” on Friday, March 9.

TEKsystems’ Matt Payne is available for additional commentary. For more information about the survey, or to schedule an interview, please contact Nathan Bowen at nabowen@TEKsystems.com.

About TEKsystems®

We’re partners in transformation. We help clients activate ideas and solutions to take advantage of a new world of opportunity. We are a team of 80,000 strong, working with over 6,000 clients, including 80% of the Fortune 500, across North America, Europe and Asia. As an industry leader in Full-Stack Technology Services, Talent Services and real-world application, we work with progressive leaders to drive change. That’s the power of true partnership. TEKsystems is an Allegis Group company.