CIOs more optimistic about health IT than docs

Study finds there's still plenty of uncertainty surrounding technology and ACOs, study finds
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Healthcare executives, physicians and consumers hold disparate views of the changes taking place in healthcare delivery and information technology, according to a new report from Greenway Medical Technologies.

The study involved focus groups with C-level healthcare executives and surveys of more than 1,000 physicians, CIOs, health IT professionals and consumers, according to an announcement

Among the discrepancies: Physicians see themselves as those most responsible for creating a successful healthcare system, yet only 2 percent said they're actively taking steps to fix the current model. They're also unclear on who the other stakeholders should be. More than half of consumers, meanwhile, said government should take the lead on healthcare.

Perhaps not surprisingly, CIOs were more positive toward health technology, with 72 percent saying they have seen or expect to see greater system efficiency directly related to technology integration. That compares with 61 percent of physicians who say so.

Other results:

  • Almost half the physicians said they would align with or seek direct employment with a larger health system if Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements arereduced.
  • While they say they distrust Accountable Care Organizations, more than 20 percent of the surveyed physicians have chosen at least one ACO partner. Almost 60 percent indicated that they are considering an ACO partnership. Meanwhile, half of the CIOs indicated that they do not plan to be a part of an ACO.
  • CIOs' biggest concerns with health technology were interoperability (26 percent), overall costs (22 percent) and medical staff alignment, (18 percent).
  • Nearly half (49 percent) of CIOs said the burden for interoperability should be shared by vendors and healthcare systems, while another 33 percent said it should be shared but vendors should take the lead.
  • Just over 20 percent of physicians surveyed reported some frustration with their chosen technology system.
  • Consumers are becoming active participants in their healthcare, turning to friends, family and the Internet to supplement their physicians' advice. Eighty-six percent said they believe they will have to be more involved in personal healthcare purchases and decisions in the future.
  • Only 20 percent of consumers said they do not use technology for health-related matters.

While concepts such as accountable care and ACOs are in their infancy, healthcare organizations are still looking for stakeholder partners and the infrastructure to achieve the flow of information these new models require, the study concludes.

The re-election of President Obama will advance efforts to create ACOs and other reform measures, though not all experts are convinced ACOs will deliver on promises of better quality and cost savings, even with better infrastructure. However, 49 percent of primary care physicians and 53 percent of endocrinologists are expected to adopt the model within the next year, according to a new report from the U.S. Physician and Payer Forum.

To learn more:
- read the report
- here's the announcement

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