Staffing Levels and ICD-10 Lead Health IT Concerns in HIMSS Survey

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It’s not a lack of financial resources that are a barrier to implementing health information technology. Rather a concern over staffing levels top the perceived obstacles to a well-established IT system, based on the 23rd annual HIMSS Leadership Survey. For the first time in several years, financial resources were not the top concern of healthcare IT professionals. A quarter of the 300 surveyed said adequate staffing within their organization was the top barrier to implementing greater IT solutions, according to the survey released at the ongoing HIMSS 2012 conference in Las Vegas. Approximately two-thirds said their IT staff will increase in the next year, according to a summary of the survey presented at the 2012 HIMSS conference in Las Vegas this week. “Leading areas in which survey respondents require staff are in the areas of clinical decision support, network and architecture support and clinical informatics professionals,” the summary states. Meeting meaningful use criteria to qualify for federal subsidies and compliance with ICD-10 requirements were identified as key areas of additional concern. More than one-quarter of respondents have already attested to meanginful use, according to the report. And nearly 90 percent expect to complete their ICD-10 conversion by October 2013. The Department of Health and Human Services announced last week it was postponing ICD-10 implementation from its October 2013 deadline, but did not set a new date for compliance. To help physicians meet the new requirements, HIMSS created an on-line tool detailing the steps necessary for any practice, free standing center or hospital to comply with the federal guidelines. Most of the world has already switched over to the more detailed international diagnoses codes. But they have been criticized as being overly complex. For updates from the HIMSS conference in Las Vegas follow on Twitter.