At HIMSS11 last month, HIMSS released the 22nd Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey, sponsored by Citrix. While this survey covers a wide variety of topics, from IT priorities and barriers, meaningful use, security, staffing and budget and more, I want to focus this post on the questions the survey asks about information technology, patient care and the role clinicians play in that process.
Here are some of the findings from the survey.
Respondents believe that IT can have a positive impact on patient care, either by improving clinical/quality outcomes, reducing medical errors or helping to standardize care by allowing for the use of evidence-based medicine.
- Specifically, more than 40 percent of respondents indicated IT will improve clinical and quality outcomes;
- Another quarter of respondents indicated IT can reduce medical errors/improve patient safety; and
- 12 percent reported that IT helps to standardize clinical care using evidence-based medicine.
In order to effectively position IT to successfully support patient care, organizations are taking a number of steps. Most organizations indicated that there is a strong level of integration between IT strategies and overall organizational strategy, with two-thirds of senior IT executives reporting that they are a part of their organization’s senior executive team.
- More and more reported that their organizations are also starting to employ Chief Medical Information Officers (30 percent) to provide overall leadership in the ongoing development, implementation, advancement and optimization of electronic information systems that impact patient care; and
- Organizations are also starting to hire individuals in the role of Chief Nursing Informatics Officer (eight percent).
This level of type of leadership should lead to involvement of clinicians in the use of IT. Indeed, nearly all survey respondents (98 percent) noted that clinicians play a meaningful role in IT at their organizations.
- Respondents were most likely (79 percent) to report that clinicians participate in IT system evaluation/selection; and
- Another 77 percent noted clinicians act as project champions in educating and leading other clinicians.
Clinicians are also widely involved in the development of policies related to clinical information systems, which was selected by 60 percent of respondents. Continued involvement of clinicians in the IT process is critical.
- One-third of survey respondents identified clinical application support staff as a key area in which they would have a staffing need in the future, particularly as organizations move forward to meet Stage One meaningful use requirements; and
- Additionally, one quarter indicated that the need for clinical informaticists will be critical to future success.
What role do clinicians play in advancing the use of IT at your organization?