Healthcare executives plan to invest more on EHR systems and healthcare IT in the coming year, a new report finds.

More funding will go toward EHR systems, healthcare IT this year

On Monday, CIT Group Inc. released a telling report on this year's financial outlook for the healthcare industry. Though it's now widely acknowledged that healthcare IT plays a crucial role in the sector, especially in improving quality of care, confirmation that it will continue to dominate the industry came from the study, titled "2016 Middle Market Healthcare Outlook."

Spending more on technology
Healthcare executives have acknowledged that investments in health IT and EHR systems will continue to grow, due partially to an influx of patients and the ensuing expected increase in revenue, reported EHR Intelligence. The CIT report found that in comparison to their original budget, slightly more than half of survey respondents reported 2016 investments on current EHR systems that matched their projected numbers. Perhaps more telling, those that did not spend their estimated numbers, 34 percent actually invested more. Only 7 percent spent less.

"The majority of the surveyed healthcare executives remain optimistic, expecting similar growth to last year in revenue, prices, volume and capital spending," said William Douglass, the managing director at CIT Healthcare Finance. "With a promising financial outlook, it is not surprising that nearly half of executives surveyed also believe that capital spending will increase in the coming year. Moreover, the need for financing is expected to hold steady or increase."

The report results also indicated that leaders in the field consider interoperability a top priority and are hoping to invest even more this year. As of now, on 53 percent of participants have EHR systems that are interoperable with other EHR platforms.

Reliance on technology
If any more indication was necessary to guarantee that technology will continue to be heavily relied on in the coming year, 8 in 10 executives reported that patients can benefit highly from monitoring health with technology. Moreover, 88 percent of healthcare executives agree that health IT has helped to deliver better quality of care, reported CIT.

Yet at the same time, in light of a recent string of ransomware attacks on major health organizations, it's also clear that security is both a top concern and priority. In fact, 67 percent of respondents reported that they are uneasy about EHR and HIE security and note that it must be addressed.