A Guidehouse Center for Health Insights analysis of an executive survey conducted by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) explores current trends in health IT and corporate services among hospitals and health systems in 2021. From January-February 2021, 112 chief financial officers and financial and revenue cycle executives from health systems across the US responded to the survey.
Automation is on the rise: Half of executives said their hospitals are actively monitoring the use of automation technologies to improve accuracy and reduce costs. Of them, 38% are driving positive results from automation investments while expanding associated capabilities. A March 2020 Guidehouse/HFMA analysis found that only 15% of hospitals had automated their corporate services functions.
Health IT obstacles remain in ERP and cybersecurity: 45% of providers are still more than two years away from deploying ERP technology with 15% suggesting they have no ERP plans, up from 9% a year ago. Additionally, only 1% cited tracking technology assets and just 9% cited removing legacy software as a top priority for improving cybersecurity – both critical to understanding current assets, their owners and users, and when they need to be updated.
Wiser spending on corporate services: 21% of executives believe their corporate services spending could decrease by 10% or more without negatively impacting quality or efficiency – down from 36% in 2020. In addition, more than half of executives expect to be held accountable for reducing corporate services budgets or, at a minimum, holding them flat over the next year.
COVID-19 impact on staffing shortages: Nearly 70% of executives said nursing shortages have worsened, while just 20% of executives suggested an increase in physician shortages compared to 35% in 2018.