Many hospital CIOs plan to hire outside consultants to help them achieve meaningful use of electronic health records and manage other health IT initiatives, according to a survey by healthsystemCIO, FierceHealthIT reports (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 3/1).
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHRs can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
The survey is based on responses from healthsystemCIO's CIO Advisory Panel.
According to the survey, 46% of hospital CIOs said they already have spent or plan to spend a "significant amount" of money to hire consultants. Of the CIOs who intend to hire consultants, 62% said that their institutions lack the proper resources or expertise necessary to complete IT projects without outside assistance.
The survey also found that:
- 69% of hospital CIOs said they do not think they will have more difficulty securing funds to hire consultants than securing funds for software investment;
- 58% said they believe that smaller organizations are at a disadvantage for qualifying for meaningful use incentives because of their limited ability to hire consultants; and
- 54% said they plan to leverage internal resources instead of hiring consultants (healthsystemCIO survey, 3/1).