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U.S. health IT executives consider new IT-as-a-service models to spur innovation and reduce costs

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Alexandria, Va., June 24, 2013 – MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of health and government IT, today announced the results of its new report, “Health Check: Healthcare CIOs Prescribe Change.” Based on a survey of College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) members and underwritten by EMC Corporation, the study quantifies the potential impact of IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) models when deployed by healthcare providers. Respondents estimate that through the adoption of ITaaS, they can reduce IT costs by 9 percent, which translates into $11 billion in IT savings for U.S. providers over the next three years. Additionally, 90 percent of healthcare IT executives believe IT innovation is key to their organization’s success – and estimate that 47 percent of their current portfolio has the potential to be delivered via ITaaS – leveraging private, hybrid, and public clouds in the future.

Ready to Advance: While health IT executives are focused on innovation and efficiency, just 22 percent say their current IT infrastructure significantly enables their organization’s ability to innovate. To gain more efficiencies and help drive down IT costs, 99 percent of the healthcare providers surveyed are taking steps to transform their IT infrastructure. To help achieve these goals:

  • 87 percent are deploying virtualization.
  • 73 percent are streamlining IT operations.
  • 48 percent are centralizing IT management.

But, there is more work to be done, as healthcare IT executives continue to be challenged with staffing and budget pressures:

  • 52 percent are unable to find and hire all the IT staff with the right skills needed for innovation.
  • Only 30 percent use a structured process to measure IT return on investment.

As they are addressing budget and staffing pressures, healthcare IT executives are working to support significant healthcare business and regulatory change at lower IT cost. Seventeen percent report they are already affiliated with an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). Additionally, 37 percent anticipate they will be affiliated with an ACO in the next three years. Respondents identify their top three IT goals for their organization in 2013 are:

  • Achieve EMR Meaningful Use Stage 2 objectives cost-effectively (60 percent).
  • Prepare accountable care integration,  i.e., Accountable Care Organizations (39 percent).
  • Improve information security (35 percent).

Embracing Change with ITaaS: To move towards organizational objectives, providers are considering new agile IT models to transform their IT and deliver new IT services. Overall, respondents report that 15 percent of their total IT portfolio is delivered via an ITaaS model today.  Further, 94 percent of respondents report that they have purchased at least part of their IT portfolio “as a service.” Specifically:

  • 87 percent have purchased software or applications as a service, such as virtualization.
  • 22 percent have purchased platforms or complete environments, which can help increase the use of private and hybrid clouds.          
  • 18 percent have purchased infrastructure-as-a-service.

“An ITaaS framework enables providers to support the pace of change and organizational transformation to meet accountable care goals,” said David Dimond, healthcare solutions chief strategist, EMC Corporation. “As IT departments transform their operations to run IT as a service, their role will also transform – from exclusive providers of IT services to brokers of IT services.  This shared services infrastructure offers healthcare organizations the opportunity to lower operational costs, restructure costs from capital to operating expenses, improve service levels and accelerate the deployment of key healthcare applications.”

“Healthcare reform is forcing new efficiencies,” said Steve O’Keeffe, founder, MeriTalk. “ITaaS results to date show enormous potential. This is a crucial step if we want to revitalize our U.S. healthcare system.”

The study is based on a survey of 109 CHIME members in April-June 2013. The report has a margin of error of 9.36 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. 

Download the full complimentary “Health Check: CIOs Prescribe Change” study today at:  http://www.meritalk.com/healthcheck.


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