News Feature | March 31, 2014

2 Of 3 Hospitals Increasing 2014 IT Budgets

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

Hospitals Increasing 2014 IT Budgets

The 2014 HIMSS Leadership Survey found two thirds of hospitals are increasing their IT budgets for this year

The 25th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey found the majority of hospitals are increasing their IT budgets for this year. In fact, only 12 percent expect to decrease this area of the budget.

“Driven by an overall increase in the number of systems they need to manage, two-thirds of IT leaders expect both their operating budgets to increase in the next year. More than one-third of respondents, 39 percent, expect the number of individuals employed in the IT department to increase in the next year,” according to the HIMSS Survey.

The following were reasons for the budget increase:

  • overall growth in number of systems: 58 percent
  • need to comply with regulatory changes: 49 percent
  • overall budget increases: 46 percent
  • need to upgrade IT infrastructure: 41 percent
  • additional staffing to comply with regulations: 39 percent
  • increase in long-term IT plan: 26 percent
  • addition of facility/business unit: 26 percent
  • partnership with other organization: 14 percent
  • recent merger/acquisition: 14 percent
  • ability to prove return on investment: 7 percent
  • competitive market threats: 7 percent
  • business requirements to invest in e-business: 6 percent

“According to the HIMSS Analytics Database, the average IS operating expense as a total expense for U.S. hospitals in 2013, was 3.08 percent. Approximately two-thirds of survey respondents (65 percent) noted their organizations’ operating budgets for 2014 would increase over 2013 levels; this is a decrease from the three-quarters that reported this to be the case last year. One-third of the respondents (38 percent) noted their budget would definitely increase in the next year while 27 percent identified a probable increase.”

Salaries for IT staff are increasing as well, growing 4 percent in 2013 and averaging from $86,000 for staff up to $189,000 for executives. This combined with the need for more IT employees only adds to the growing IT budgets reported.

The top staffing needs reported were clinical application support, network/architecture support, clinical informatics, IT security, systems integration, user training, system design, help desk, PC/server support, and regulatory reimbursement.