Top of Mind for Top Health Systems 2019: Insights from health systems on IT priorities for the year ahead

Introduction

What is Top of Mind in Health IT?

As health system leaders look ahead to the challenges and opportunities of the coming year, they are increasing their spending to defend against cyberattacks, expressing optimism about higher reimbursement for telehealth services, and feeling anxious about Apple, Amazon, and Google entering the health care space. Those are among the key findings included in this report, which dives into three areas of health IT that those executives believe will have the most impact on health care in 2019.

For the second consecutive year, the Center for Connected Medicine (CCM) partnered with The Health Management Academy (The Academy) on the Top of Mind for Top Health Systems research project to identify the most pressing health IT issues and understand why they are a focus of health system leaders. The Top of Mind 2019 research project is focused on what C-suite leaders are thinking about
for the coming year, as they face a growing set of challenges and are looking to technology for solutions as well as opportunities to expand, innovate, and better serve patients and consumers.

The report has been released near the end of 2018 to set an agenda for the next 12 months, inform the innovators and change-makers who make up the CCM community, and provide timely information to industry leaders.

Areas of greatest impact

The top three areas of health IT that executives at some of the largest health systems think will have the most impact in 2019 are:

Cybersecurity

Telehealth

Interoperability

Cybersecurity remained at the top of the list from the previous year’s survey, and telehealth and interoperability climbed the ranking. The previous year’s Top of Mind report had identified cybersecurity, consumer-facing technology, and predictive analytics as the top three areas of focus for 2018. While consumerism and analytics remain hot topics in health care, it was not surprising to see telehealth and interoperability rise in the minds of health IT executives for 2019. Policymakers, in particular, have emphasized telehealth and interoperability in the past year, and the threats of cyberattacks and data breaches are constant in health care.

The following pages provide insights gleaned from quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews with C-suite leaders on cybersecurity, telehealth, and interoperability.