Cost of technology is top challenge for healthcare organisations, according to poll

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3rd July 2019 14:01 - Information Technology

Cost of technology is top challenge for healthcare organisations: A report polling doctors, nurses and other health professionals in primary, secondary and community care has found that more than half (55.7%) believe that the cost of technology is holding back their organisation. It also found that over a third (35%) think that it will take at least a decade before their organisation is fully digital and paper-free.

Part of wider research conducted by Deloitte titled Closing the Digital Gap: Shaping the Future of Digital Healthcare, the report highlights the opportunities for digital tech to help tackle challenges within the healthcare sector.

Asked about the top challenges faced by their organisation in implementing digital technology, 55.7% said cost was the main barrier, followed by 'finding the right technologies' (11.2%) and the 'complexity of technology’ (9.8%). The fourth most selected answer was  'bureaucracy in healthcare' (7.8%), while 'convincing staff of the benefits of technology' (5.5%) charted in fifth position.

When asked about how well their organisation is prepared for adopting digital technology, 47.5% said they were 'reasonably well prepared', while 12% said 'very well'. At the other end of the scale 30.9% said they were 'a little' prepared, while 7.8% admitted they were 'not at all' ready.

The least prepared country in the UK was Wales with 51% saying they were 'not all' or 'a little' prepared for digital advances, while the most prepared was Northern Ireland with 64.5% saying they were 'reasonably well' or 'very well' prepared for the changes.

The survey also found that in the UK, 91% of clinical staff use electronic health records, while 61% utilise e-prescribing - although just 19% of professionals in Northern Ireland say they e-prescribe. More than four in ten (41%) use e-rostering, while 29% use technology for patient appointments and a quarter use it for remote vital sign monitoring.

The top three challenges cited by senior healthcare professionals were funding (38%), leadership (22%) and interoperability (22%).

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