IT Spends to Increase in Healthcare
While the economic slump has driven several companies to resort to strategic budget and cost-cutting initiatives, healthcare organizations are increasing their spending on healthcare information technology (IT) solutions and services to enhance healthcare delivery quality while addressing the issue of mounting healthcare costs.
In a new analysis, titled Healthcare Information Technology: CIO Insights, Frost & Sullivan analyzed trends in the IT budgets of hospitals and the drivers, barriers and challenges to IT investment in healthcare organizations across Southeast Asia. The market earned revenues of over $5 billion in 2008 and this is estimated to reach $10 billion in 2012, the study said.
"Healthcare providers no longer consider IT solutions and services an unnecessary cost burden, but a critical value provider," said Pawel Suwinski, consultant at F&S. "In public and private hospitals, IT budgets are expected to increase from the year 2009 to 2011."
Spiraling healthcare costs, demand for better quality of healthcare, and rising labour shortage are some of the challenges faced by healthcare delivery organisations. Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and IT managers of hospitals realize that investments in healthcare IT solutions will lower medical errors and costs in the long term. These factors are driving increased IT spending by healthcare providers, the study said.
On the other hand, public and private hospital CIOs’ and IT managers’ strategic IT investment plans are likely to be hampered by budget constraints and integration issues in the near future.
"Lack of industry standards in countries such as India and China is a major hindrance to the adoption of healthcare IT solutions," said Suwinski. "It is important to have the appropriate standards for ease of information flow in the healthcare environment."
The future trend concerning healthcare IT adoption varies from country to country. For instance, in India, the focus is on replacing legacy systems. In Australia and Southeast Asia, hospitals have the basic administrative solutions in place and are now concentrating on adoption of clinical information systems and electronic medical records.
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