NHS acute trusts in England will be stepping up delivery of new IT infrastructure and systems in the coming year, despite continued financial pressures, new research shows, with future IT investment becoming more patient-focused.
'The view from the shop floor' the latest report from EHI Intelligence, reveals that nearly 70% of acute trusts say their trust's main IT priority in the coming year is to deliver new infrastructure, up from just 40% last year. This health IT investment will become more patient-focused, with almost 50% of those surveyed saying their trust is looking to invest in either an electronic patient record or portal solution.
Lindsay Bell, report author, said, "The report shows increased optimism among respondents compared with last year. Although their trusts are still facing financial pressures, they expect these to be less severe than last year, with only 17% of those who responded to the 2012 survey expecting their overall trust budget to fall by more than 20%, compared to 37% last year.
"This optimism also applies to IT departments, who are no longer fearing the worst. The survey found the respondents predicting an average reduction in IT budgets to be just 4% compared to 8% last year, while the number of trusts expecting to have to make drastic reductions of more than 20% in their IT budget has fallen sharply, down from 27% last year to 6% this year."
The survey also reveals that trusts are becoming more business-focused when it comes to IT spend, with trust boards becoming more influential regarding the sign-off of IT strategies and business cases for investments.
Bell said: "In the future, suppliers will have to show that their products can deliver a significant return on investment within a short timescale. They may also have to show they can deliver a bigger ROI than other projects being put forward at the same time, as trusts explore numerous options for new ways of working under the 'innovation' strand of the QIPP agenda."
EHealth Insider editor Jon Hoeksma, said, "There is no doubt that the NHS has a difficult road ahead. However, the results of this year's survey indicate those working on the IT shop floor are less concerned about the journey than they were last year. There's also clear evidence that trust IT departments are being protected from the worst, by boards and clinicians who increasingly 'get' the need to invest to make the bigger changes ahead.
“Suppliers are advised to take account of the insights provided by the report into the factors impacting trusts' ability to invest in new IT when tailoring their approach to acute trusts in the next year."
About the report
'The view from the shop floor' report is based on responses from 195 IT directors and others working in acute sector IT who were surveyed in September 2012, as well as a new analysis of EHI's first annual survey, which was carried out in Spring 2011.
The full report is priced at £995. Download a sample of the report or email Dan Read firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
About EHI Intelligence
EHI Intelligence provides, to both the NHS and suppliers, the most up-to-date and exhaustive data, insight and analysis, delivered through a database, procurement alert service, research bulletins and market trend reports. At the heart of the service is the EHI Intelligence NHS Trust Database which provides the most comprehensive and accurate source of data on the systems in use by individual NHS trusts. The database provides detailed IT profiles of NHS trusts and bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland together with data on their current and future planned IT spend. Click for further information on the survey.
About eHealth Insider
EHealth Insider is the leading daily health IT news service in the UK. Providing lively and independent news, analysis and insight into developments in healthcare IT and information use. http://www.ehi.co.uk
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