IT, Clinician Alignment Called Critical

A new report from software developer Symplr finds that streamlining healthcare operations would free up substantial time to support the healthcare workforce and enhance patient care.

However, a lack of alignment in priorities and differing perspectives between IT leaders and clinicians are slowing progress towards this goal, the report says.

The online survey was conducted from June-July 2023 representing 75 hospital and health system leaders, with 55 percent of respondents working in IT and chief information officer (CIO) roles and 36 percent in clinical roles.

“Data from 200+ decision-makers at top U.S. health systems in 2022 and 2023 reveal that the disparity between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ of healthcare is widening, and there is an urgent need to streamline healthcare operations to improve efficiency while winning back staff,” the report says.

“The results paint a stark picture of slow progress being made towards consolidating and integrating technology, while healthcare organizations continue to grapple with workforce shortages and tight margins,” the report continued.

“Clinicians and IT leaders agree; health systems must improve healthcare operations software NOW to give time back to clinicians and elevate patient care to new levels,” the report says. “Yet, communication breakdowns and lack of alignment across teams are obstructing progress toward enterprise technology, and catastrophe is brewing.”

According to the report, one thing is clear: IT and clinical stakeholders are not always on the same page. Symplr said that teaming up could turbocharge technology transformation, support care delivery, and cut costs.

Six key findings of the survey include:

  • Clinician burnout and workforce challenges overtook financial pressures as the top threat organizations face in 2024;
  • Eighty-four percent agree that clinicians could redirect substantial time to patient care by bringing together healthcare operations software on a single platform;
  • Clinicians perceive challenges such as nurse retention, supporting the physical and emotional well-being of nurses, optimizing technology, and workflow efficiency as more pressing concerns when compared to IT counterparts;
  • Clinicians were more likely than IT leaders to agree their organization has a difficult user experience for individuals working across healthcare operations software;
  • The majority of organizations still rely on more than 50 software solutions to run healthcare operations; and
  • Eighty percent agree that working with disparate IT systems complicates their job.

“In order to tackle the challenges of modern healthcare and prioritize the needs of healthcare workers as well as patients, organizations must build consensus among clinicians and IT professionals to avoid disruptions and delays,” Symplr’s report says. “Only then will they be able to effectively consolidate systems and leverage enterprise technology to provide better care, save clinicians’ time, improve burnout rates, and ensure operational efficiency now and in the future.”