2012 Health IT Spending & Trends

December 29, 2011
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The healthcare IT market is rapidly growing and expected to continue through 2016. Here’s a look at 2012 health IT spending trends and a review of 2011.

Nearly 90 percent of healthcare IT decision-makers are planning significant investments in hardware, software and other solutions within the next six months. A study by CDW IT Monitor reveals the spending habits and plans of certain key corporate industries within the IT sector – including healthcare, manufacturing and retail industries.

The healthcare IT market is rapidly growing and expected to continue through 2016. Here’s a look at 2012 health IT spending trends and a review of 2011.

Nearly 90 percent of healthcare IT decision-makers are planning significant investments in hardware, software and other solutions within the next six months. A study by CDW IT Monitor reveals the spending habits and plans of certain key corporate industries within the IT sector – including healthcare, manufacturing and retail industries.

Within the IT budget, the report lists the major tech investments that were put off in 2011 and slated for actualization in 2012, including:

  • PCs (60%)
  • Security (55%)
  • Cloud Computing (50%)
  • Virtualization (41%)
  • Mobility (39%)

Research firm BCC (Business Communications Company) estimates that the total clinical healthcare IT market is projected to grow from $7.4 billion in 2011 to nearly $17.5 billion in 2016 – increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.7 percent over the next five years.

A study of the clinical healthcare technologies market shares from 2010-2016 show a projected growth in the dedicated hardware spend, growing from 28.7 percent in 2011 to 34.2 percent in 2016.

Additionally, government IT consultants and research subsidiary Deltek issued a report on the federal health IT market from 2011-2016 predicting that the federal health IT spending budget will increase from $4.5 billion this year to $6.5 billion in 2016 – showing a growth of 7.5% year over year for the next five.

With this growth comes an improved hiring outlook to support IT investments – 20 percent of IT management plan to hire staff within the next six months. In addition to hiring, some companies may take advantage of outsourcing IT or hosting solutions for its cost-effectiveness, professional management and support.

2011 Health IT Trends -To Continue in 2012?
In a review of 2011 health IT trends, SearchHealthIT.com lists cloud computing and health data privacy and security (HIPAA compliance) as #4 and #5 on their Top 10 Health IT Trends of 2011. Another SearchHealthIT article suggests that healthcare companies start out with server virtualization by testing their noncritical applications (ones that don’t affect patients) in the cloud first, then advancing to accommodate a private cloud.

Other advantages of virtualization in healthcare include:

  • Interoperability – Virtualization can help when it comes to combining patient data information into one system to allow for information exchange and patient access, also known as EMR (electronic medical records) or EHR (electronic health records) systems.
  • Remote access – Virtual desktop deployment without hardware dependence can allow healthcare employees and physicians to manage business applications from many different mobile devices, increasing the immediacy and streamlining of patient care by increasing access.
  • Compliance – A solid disaster recovery plan is recommended to comply with HIPAA compliance regulations. When it comes to disaster recovery, virtualization allows for faster network replication from an offsite location or data center, which in turn effects data recovery times and accuracy.

A white paper by Thomson Reuters, A Path to Eliminating $3.6 Trillion in Wasteful Healthcare Spending, outlines strategies to improve and streamline healthcare organization business processes and systems to lower healthcare costs and wasteful spending. Among the strategies include systems improvements and care coordination, including the goal to better link providers – the paper suggests that healthcare organizations build EMR systems to create increased and efficient connectivity among provider.

Get more details on HIPAA compliant hosting and recommended IT solutions to help your healthcare organization meet compliance.