Edward Prewitt, for HealthLeaders Media , February 25, 2013
Because healthcare IT is expensive. And the report reveals that it's becoming an ever bigger drain on hospital and health system bottom lines. And that an ROI from healthcare IT will be hard to find, despite the fervent hopes of healthcare executives.
Today, 40% of the 250 respondents say the operating IT budget takes up 2-3% of their organizations' overall operating revenue. But the respondents—who represent a range of C-suite leaders and VPs, including CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and CIOs—expect an upward shift in the near future. More than half (56%) say the operating IT budget will account for 4% or more of overall operating revenue, and a fifth expect IT spending to take 6% or more.
Still, a majority of survey respondents (58%) say their organizations invest in IT, meaning they expect a financial return, rather than simply spend on IT (indicated by 42%).
But while the survey indicates overall trends and expectations, the comments by individual executives reveal how they view healthcare IT. "IT will always disappoint if you expect a return," says the president of a large physician organization. "Most CFOs will say they haven't seen a ROI on the investments made in IT as an industry compared to industries like banking," says Donna Abney, executive vice president of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, whose organization helped shaped the Intelligence Report.
(Editor's note: Many of the figures cited here draw from the paid Premium version of our February Intelligence Report. A free version, containing HealthLeaders analysis but less data, is also available for download.)