Hospitals could use the money—nearly half (48%) said the economy has forced them to delay 2011 capital projects. And another 40% said some projects have been eliminated altogether. But again, IT projects seem mostly safe from the axe. We asked leaders to name the clinical initiatives they've put off or scaled back. Most (48%) answered none, while a handful cited CPOE and EMRs (15% each).
Finally, investing in HIT makes sense when you consider that 52% of healthcare leaders say improvement to quality of care is their leading priority when it comes to assessing a capital need (34% said they determine funding by replacement need and only 14% said return on investment is the primary factor in the decision.)
"Clinically, with all that's now being measured in terms of quality and patient satisfaction and how it will impact reimbursements, you really have to [invest in electronic medical records] just to keep up," LaBonte says.
Be sure to check the most recent HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Report, 2011 Capital Spend: EMR Dominates Budgets. Turn to page 8 to read Minich-Pourshadi's excellent analysis: "Tech Dominates Capital Budgets as Caution Continues."