Although 84 percent of caregivers say technology improves treatment of patients, hospitals require more investment in IT infrastructure, a report by CDW Healthcare revealed.
Hopes are high
for technology to improve patient care, yet IT departments need to invest in
the infrastructure required to run electronic health record (EHR) applications,
according to a new report by CDW Healthcare.
CDW offers IT
services to more than 15,000 health care organizations in the United States,
including providers in rural areas as well as large hospital networks.
called "Healthcare IT Tipping Point Report
that 84 percent of caregivers believe health care IT improves the care of
survey, CDW interviewed 200 health care IT professionals and 202
caregiversdoctors and nursesat large hospitals between Jan. 9 and Jan. 23.
The company announced the results March 6.
percent of caregivers said health care IT gives them more time to spend with
well-conceived and supported health care IT, caregivers spend less time
accessing and verifying information and more time using that information,"
Bob Rossi, vice president of CDW Healthcare, told eWEEK
in an email. "Moreover, new endpoint systems put
tools and information within reach of the caregiver while they are with the
patientproximity is a big advantage in utilization."
In the survey,
85 percent of doctors and nurses believed that the information gleaned from
health care IT applications would lead to better patient care, while 72 percent
thought technology would make care more accurate.
percent of caregivers interviewed believed IT workflows could help them follow
up with patients.
prospects for patient care, the report exposed some challenges for IT in health
care as far as networking, storage and computing, according to Rossi.
report card on the performance of IT departments at large hospitals, this is a
solid A," said Rossi. "That said, the survey results also demonstrate
how out-of-balance systems can result in user frustration and wasted
caregiver systems with infrastructure investments is a challenge, said Rossi.
that 58 percent of the surveyed health care IT professionals admitted to
adding a server, storage or network program after hearing complaints
of slowed systems from users," he noted.
Even as EHRs
help doctors follow a patient's history, the applications can run slow without
the proper infrastructure and the EHR software, or "endpoint
systems," can be unintuitive, CDW reported.
the supporting infrastructure, endpoint systems can end up slow, unreliable or
extremely difficult to use," said Rossi. "No matter how great
the tool, if the caregiver has to wait minutes to access it, or can only access
it sporadically, the value will be substantially less."
also warned of a "crunch" as more wireless devices consume bandwidth
and EHR and health information exchange (HIE) applications
work off system resources.
add mobile devices to the networks, hospitals have had to increase
infrastructure," Rossi noted. Of the health professionals surveyed, 55
percent added wireless devices, 44 percent purchased more security hardware or
software, 38 percent added more software applications, 32 percent upgraded
wireless network capacity and 32 percent bought new application servers, he
recommended that health care organizations anticipate the capacity needed for
health IT, including wireless devices and EHR systems, ahead of time.
to user concerns after the fact is the most expensive approach to meeting
infrastructure needs," said Rossi. "By capacity planning first, IT
leaders can take the pressure off of infrastructure investment."