What are the most critical IT initiatives for CIOs and health systems in 2022? What strategies are CIOs considering to solve their biggest challenges? See how CIOs responded to these and other questions in the recent online survey we conducted with healthcare executives, all College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) members.
What pressures are CIOs facing?
For the past three years, we have had the opportunity to survey CIOs who are members of CHIME and the results from the 2022 survey highlight several key pressures facing hospital IT leaders today:
What strategies are CIOs considering to push toward progress?
Survey results show that CIOs believe possible relief to limited IT bandwidth and lack of IT talent could be found in pursuing managed services partners to offload day-to-day IT operations. Other responses indicate strategies include fortifying governance and prioritization frameworks for more effective change management and seeking advice on digital transformation initiatives.
Question 1: What are the most critical IT initiatives for your organization in 2022?
Results: 40% of CIOs surveyed say EHR/EMR optimization, expansion or migration is a top strategic priority
What’s the same: Survey data from the past three years shows that these critical IT priorities and initiatives continue to rise to the top.
What’s different: Almost 30% of CIOs ranked data analytics (population health, value-based care, predictive analytics, etc.) as their second strategic priority – double from the responses in 2021 in which 14% selected data analytics as second to EHR optimization as a critical initiative.
One of the benefits of EHR expansion and migration, especially to a singular EHR, is data analytics and the power of having visibility into the patient health information record across care settings.
Question 2: What kind of barriers or challenges are most impactful this year?
Results: 53% of CIOs said limited IT bandwidth and the ability to source specialized expertise was their number one challenge.
What’s the same: Bandwidth and staffing shortages have been a consistent pain point for the past three years according to CIOs surveyed. CIOs and IT departments continue to strive to do more with fewer resources and the inability to locate specialized IT talent makes it even more difficult to deliver transformational IT solutions.
What’s different: Fewer CIOs responded that “significant budget reduction” was their top challenge – a significant decline from 30% in 2021 to only 8% in 2022. However, 23% of CIOs indicated that their organization’s resistance to change was a barrier, which was up from only 4% in 2021. Although budgets may be rebounding, change remains difficult – making the role of CIO as a champion for change and effective manager of change all the more important.
Question 3: Where do you see the greatest opportunities for cost savings and efficiency inside your organization?
Results: 55% of CIOs ranked application rationalization and optimization as their number one and two priorities when it comes to saving time and money.
What’s the same: CIOs still view application rationalization and contract consolidation management as top strategies to achieve cost savings and process efficiencies.
What’s different: Responses were balanced when it comes to which strategy is leading the way. In 2021, application rationalization was a clear front runner (36% of CIOs ranked it number one). In 2022, CIOs seem to be considering a diversified approach when it comes to their top tactic to save time and money.
Question 4: What areas in your organization are under consideration or would benefit from a managed services delivery model?
Results: 38% of CIOs are looking for help when it comes to managing cybersecurity and 17% see infrastructure as an area to consider using managed services.
What’s the same: Cybersecurity is still a behemoth for CIOs to manage, and the area that lands number one priority and perhaps greatest benefit from the right managed services partner.
What’s different: In the 2020 survey results, over one-third of CIOs said they had not considered using a managed service provider to address gaps in bandwidth or application support. Today, more than half of CIOs surveyed gave ranked infrastructure, application management, and help desk as their top choice (behind cybersecurity) for how a managed service delivery model could help support IT operations.
Question 5: Rate the satisfaction/alignment of the IT department (projects and operations) to the rest of the business. (High alignment = 5 stars; Low alignment = 1 star)
Results: 50% of CIOs gave 4 stars to their alignment on how IT meets clinical needs and strives to reduce the burdens on care teams. One fourth of CIOs responded that more alignment was needed when it comes to addressing patient engagement and experience with IT.
What’s the same: Passion for meeting clinical needs, business vision, and mission rings true both in 2022 and 2021 survey results. CIOs consistently rate these areas as having the strongest alignment, indicating strong relationships with key stakeholders, clinical department leaders, and physician champions.
What’s different: One fourth of CIOs (27%) responded that return on investment and financial responsibility is an area that requires more alignment between IT and business operations, rating this area only one and two stars. As budgets and investment in IT begins to rebound, CIOs are also beginning to look for ways to articulate the ROI and value of those investments.
Responses this year seem to indicate a slight shift, because in 2021 only 12% of CIOs rated ROI and financial responsibility as a concern. In fact, alignment leaned in an overall more positive direction last year.
Question 6: What advisory services would you find most valuable to lead your organization forward?
Results: Cybersecurity comes in first again as a top-of-mind concern. 38% of CIOs responded they would see value in a risk assessment, HIPAA compliance evaluation, NIST framework, technical security assessment, or architecture review.
What’s the same: Aside from cybersecurity, CIOs continue to look for ways to establish an effective framework for governance and IT prioritization.
What’s different: In 2021, 46% of CIOs were looking for advice on how to optimize their organizations including resources, applications, infrastructure and operations. Now, CIOs are turning their attention more toward digital transformation, governance framework to manage high impact IT initiatives, and organizational change management.
Resources and next steps
|Optimize, expand, or migrate your EHR with a partner like us who understands patient care.
Our hospital operations background and experience helping clients move to a singular EHR could help you get the most out of your EHR. Check out these resources.
|Expand your bandwidth and capabilities using our staffing and advisory experts.
Do more for your organization when you tap into our advisory and staffing services. Ranked in the top two percent of staffing firms for both clients and job candidates by ClearlyRated, we can pair you with the talent you need.
|Explore an alliance with an IT managed service partner who can focus on day-to-day operations from managed networks to help desk and more.
What if your IT service desk could help you be more strategic and efficient? Download the ebook Diagnosing your health system’s IT Support Desk to learn more.
|Take advantage of an IT assessment and move your organization forward with application rationalization and optimization.
Tap into our advisory services for an objective perspective from healthcare IT leaders who have been in your shoes.
|Subscribe to our resource library so you can stay informed.
Whatever the tactic (application rationalization/optimization, contract consolidation and management, managed services and IT labor alternatives, infrastructure services, or cloud migration and/or data center reductions, we can help drive efficiency and cost savings – through the lens of what’s best for patient care.
* 2022 data is based on responses of 34 CIOs in March 2022.
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