Healthcare vendors and consultants indicate systems integration is a top information technology (IT) priority for their clients now and over the next two years, according to results of the 14th Annual Healthcare and Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Leadership Survey, sponsored by Superior Consultant Company, Inc.

When asked what they believed to be the top IT priorities for their clients at this time, the four most frequently identified were integrating systems in a multi-vendor environment (53 percent), implementing technology to reduce medical errors/promote patient safety (46 percent), implementing privacy modifications to meet HIPAA requirements (41 percent), and upgrading security on IT systems to meet HIPAA requirements (39 percent). With the exception of implementing privacy modifications to meet HIPAA requirements – a category added to this year’s survey – these are the same top priorities cited by respondents in the 2002 survey. With deadlines for the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) quickly approaching, it is not surprising that respondents predicted that in the next two years HIPAA compliance will decline in importance for their clients, while systems integration (48 percent) – and patient safety/medical error reduction (42 percent) will remain top IT priorities.

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