The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is an international organization focused on improving health engagements and care outcomes through the use of information technology (IT). Every year, HIMSS sponsors its Annual Conference & Exhibition to showcase the newest technologies, trends, and solutions in health IT.
Earlier this week, HIMSS unveiled the results of its 26th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey, which asked members about the use of health IT in their organizations. This year’s survey asked respondents to identify IT priorities, issues driving and challenging technology adoption, impact on patient engagement, and the level of support that IT has from the executive team and board of directors. The results show that at the top of the list of priorities for hospital IT leaders are patient engagement, patient satisfaction, and quality of care.
These findings mesh with those priorities identified by hospital executives who participated in Hayes Inc.’s CMO Roundtable last year. At our CMO Roundtable, hospital leaders acknowledged that care coordination, clinical and patient engagement, and systematic process improvement were key priorities in their institutions as they worked toward achieving the triple aim of healthcare reform.
What’s driving the push for patient engagement? One reason may be that research shows that patient engagement fosters health. When patients are actively engaged in health-improvement efforts, they tend to develop relationships with their clinicians that foster behavior change, increase compliance with evidence-based care practices, and enhance wellness. Another factor contributing to the focus on patient engagement may be the requirement to increase such interaction in Stage 2 of Meaningful Use.
As we learned at our CMO Roundtable, hospital leaders are trying to gain a better sense of what works and what doesn’t with regard to patient engagement. Respondents to the HIMSS survey reported using telemedicine strategies, mobile applications to monitor and measure vital signs, and patient portals to increase patient engagement. More metrics and outcome data over time will help to identify the best and most cost-effective ways to engage patients.
Nevertheless, we are pleased to see that hospital IT leaders report support within their organizations for the growth of IT efforts and recognition that improvement in population health can only come about when patients become engaged and invested in their healthcare.
For more details about the results of the 26th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey, download the executive summary here.