News | April 02, 2008

Improving Patient Care to Lead Hospital IT Spending in 2008

April 3, 2008 - Socket Communications Inc. released results from an informal survey it conducted at the recent Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference in Orlando, FL.

The survey, completed by healthcare professionals serving a variety of functions, revealed several insights about potential IT spending, concerns related to implementation and IT goals for 2008 and beyond. Echoing the overarching theme of HIMSS 2008, improving patient care, particularly bedside point of care (BPOC) is the predominant goal of healthcare professionals in 2008. The survey revealed 62 percent of respondents said that improving patient care is their primary concern and a third of respondents mentioned BPOC as the primary IT initiative.

While the role of new technologies in addressing these challenges and goals is well documented, several concerns are impeding implementation. Of these concerns, the level of computer-related skills and IT proficiency among staff was one of the most significant with 42 percent of the IT professionals surveyed describing the aptitude of their staff as excellent and 21 percent as average or below. Cost was also cited as a chief concern with almost 25 percent of respondents listing financial limitations as their primary deterrent. Added together, these results suggest that cost, ease of use, and reliability are the key drivers and components for purchase and successful implementation of data collection technology in a healthcare environment.

The survey also provided insight into the types of devices that healthcare IT professionals are testing and considering buying for their organizations. With 65 percent, laptops and computers on wheels (COWs) make up the majority of planned IT spending in 2008. Handheld computers, such as the Socket Mobile 650, represent more than a fifth of respondents at 21 percent. These devices are viewed as integral components in the IT infrastructure due to their flexibility and portability as well as their ability to serve as an intermediary between disparate machines and systems via the wireless network. Adding handheld computers to an existing IT ecosystem helps optimize earlier investments by maximizing the effectiveness and functionalities of COWs and other devices, the benefits of which can be passed on directly to employees and patients.

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