Survey: Healthcare Execs Look Toward IT to Meet Cost Pressure Challenges

Feb. 19, 2019

A survey of 100 healthcare executives has revealed that addressing the cost pressures that have resulted from declining reimbursements, and improving the patient experience, will be top challenges in the year ahead.

The survey, from Porter Research and health IT company SAP, polled 100 healthcare CEOs, CFOs and CIOs to delve deeper into their key issues for health systems and how they will prioritize new technology investments over the next three years.

More specifically, participants included 71 percent C-level leaders, including CEOs, CFOs, and CIOs, and 29 percent vice presidents and directors across finance, administration, and operations teams. The participants were from acute care hospitals and integrated delivery networks (IDNs) with over 300 beds, located in the U.S.

Some key findings:

  • In 2019, health systems will focus on addressing cost pressures, largely stemming from declining reimbursements, along with improving the patient experience as consumerism continues to intensify.
  • When asked what their top challenges are, responders cited declining reimbursement (62 percent); the patient experience (53 percent); maintaining and upgrading IT (48 percent); and cybersecurity (46 percent). As a result of the declining reimbursements, leaders are looking for new ways to reduce costs.
  • When asked what will have the greatest positive financial impact, responders pointed towards visibility into and integration of clinical and financial data.
  • As leaders seek new solutions, many are turning to technology. When asked what role technology will play in addressing key challenges, 37 percent of executives indicated technology will support improving efficiencies to reduce costs.
  • Health systems are investing in solutions to support financial departments, improve patient engagement, allow interoperability and provide visibility into data across the enterprise.
  • Healthcare systems are shifting their current culture to become patient-centric organizations. Almost half of the responders (49 percent) indicated they will invest in patient engagement technology in the next three years.

“Health system executives are purposefully prioritizing their next technology investments to continue the journey to a better patient experience and lower costs for all,” said Werner Eberhardt, M.D., global head, SAP Healthcare. “These findings make clear their top requirements, threats and challenges— information that the healthcare technology space as a whole should heed, as we play essential roles in helping healthcare systems bend the cost curve and improve patient outcomes.”