Hospital IT Executives Prioritizing Meaningful Use, ICD-10 Transition

Meeting meaningful use requirements and implementing ICD-10 code sets are two of the top priorities for hospital IT executives over the next two years, according to the 2012 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's Leadership Survey, MedPage Today reports (Walker, MedPage Today, 2/21).

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

The survey, which was conducted in December 2011 and January 2012, is based on responses from 302 hospital-based IT executives.

Top Priorities

About 38% of respondents said meeting meaningful use requirements to obtain incentive payments is their organization's top IT priority for the next two years. The figure shows a decline from last year, when 49% of respondents said meeting meaningful use would be their top IT priority (Versel, InformationWeek, 2/21).

The decline could reflect the fact that more than one-quarter of respondents said their organization already has attested to Stage 1 of meaningful use.

The survey also found that two-thirds of respondents said the implementation of ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure codes is the most important financial IT issue facing their organization (MedPage Today, 2/21). Eighty-nine percent of survey respondents said they would be ready to switch to ICD-10 code sets before the original October 2013 compliance deadline (InformationWeek, 2/21).

The survey was conducted before HHS' announcement last week that it would delay the October 2013 deadline for complying with ICD-10 standards (MedPage Today, 2/21).

Barriers to Implementing Health IT

When asked about the most significant barrier to implementing health IT:

  • 21% of respondents cited a lack of staffing resources;
  • 14% cited financial issues; and
  • 12% cited vendor inability to deliver a useful product (InformationWeek, 2/21).

Additional Findings

The survey also found that:

About half of respondents said their organization participates in a health information exchange (Healthcare IT News, 2/21);

About one-quarter of respondents said that their organization experienced a data breach in the past year, although less than 1% said securing medical data was their top IT priority (MedPage Today, 2/21); and

No respondents said they anticipated zero return on health IT investments to meet meaningful use requirements (InformationWeek, 2/21).

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