June 17, 2010 – Research shows that the top IT spending priority for 2010 is secure data management, with disaster recovery the major concern (44 percent) as hospitals transition from paper-based health records to electronic systems.

The Data Management Healthcheck 2010, a global survey into hospitals’ ongoing strategies for managing their IT systems, is designed to paint a clearer picture of current industry status and what strategies forward-looking organizations plan to execute within today’s environment. The global survey was conducted by BridgeHead Software, a health care storage virtualization company.

The survey found disaster recovery priorities were followed by picture archiving and communication systems, also known as PACS, (38 percent) and digitizing paper records (35 percent). Significantly, 84 percent of respondents said more than half their health care organizations’ data was more than six months old, yet only 26 percent claimed to have a full archiving capability that migrated content to the appropriate storage tiers.

According to Tony Cotterill, CEO and president at BridgeHead Software, roughly 20 to 30 percent of all the world’s storage resides in health care and is set to grow further in the foreseeable future. More than two-thirds (69 percent) of health care organizations surveyed expected their data volumes to increase this year. Most hospitals navigate a variety of systems and vendors for managing different types of clinical data on and off hospital premises. “Given this complexity, it is not surprising that disaster recovery is the top IT investment priority in health care today,” said John McCann, director of marketing at BridgeHead Software in a statement.

"The most notable takeaway from the survey is the emphasis IT professionals placed on backup, business continuity and disaster recovery," said Charlie Mallio, BridgeHead Software’s vice president of business development.

The study also found only 15 percent of respondents listed cloud storage among their top three investment priorities, in spite of the recent buzz around cloud computing, and only 12 percent prioritized green IT.

Click here for details on the survey.

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