IDC Health Insights Western Europe Survey Reveals Strong Need to Consolidate IT Systems and Rethink the Way Hospitals Procure, Implement, and Consume ICT Solutions

(PresseBox) ( London, )
IDC Health Insights has just published a new report analyzing the impact of healthcare reforms and cost cutting initiatives on hospital ICT investment strategies across Western Europe. As a direct consequence of the economic and financial crisis, governments within the region have been looking to curb healthcare expenditure, which represents one of the most substantial items in their budgets. Consequently, hospitals and healthcare services have been pushed to increase efficiency and productivity with the goal to deliver at least the same level of quality, care, and safety with reduced levels of resources.

"In a resource-stretched scenario, keeping the IT department decisions aligned with the long term business objectives is not an easy task," said Silvia Piai, IDC Health Insights EMEA research manager. "But the future of hospitals lies in their capability to offer services that are coordinated with those of other providers in their catchment areas. Hospitals' CIOs have to architect for reusability, interoperability, and scalability when implementing new enterprise and line-of-business solutions. Just keeping the lights on for the existing systems will only drive them to a budget-cut vortex."

Further report findings include:
  • The agendas of hospital IT departments are mainly driven by regulation compliance, while aspects of change management and governance are still fairly underestimated, weakening hospitals' risk management capabilities.
  • The weight of maintenance costs has a high impact on enterprise solution investments. Investments are particularly high in areas directly related with new regulation or cost containment initiatives such as eprocurement platforms and business intelligence (BI) and analytics.
  • Electronic medical records (EMRs) continue to lead the agenda of hospital CIOs, while interest in health information exchange (HIE) solutions that focus on bigger cooperation with other providers is still relatively low. Those investing in HIE are looking more eagerly for SaaS implementations.
IDC Health Insights survey results show that generally, hospital leaders recognize the need to deliver strong performances in service quality and personalization while mastering financial issues and reducing operational costs, but seem to be less aware of the concrete impact in their IT departments. ICT investments in the hospital sector have been historically driven by a best-of-breed approach that in many cases has produced a number of supported and unsupported systems that cannot provide a unified flow of data and are unfit to support a patient-centric approach. Survey results show maintenance absorbing sizable portions of Western European hospitals' ICT budget. There is a strong need to consolidate IT systems and rethink the way hospitals procure, implement, and consume ICT solutions.

The role of ICT in this transformation toward more personalized and lean services is widely recognized, but to understand if hospital executives are aware of the overall implications of this change of pattern, IDC Health Insights asked more than 100 Western European hospital executives to name their business priorities leading the organization agenda in 2013, and then asked them to rate the importance of specific initiatives within their IT department. Highlights include:
  • Patient centricity, both in terms of QoS enhancement access and protection of sensitive data, are the primary business priorities and drivers for hospital investments in ICT. The pressure to reduce public healthcare expenditure is also clearly reflected in the needs of hospitals to improve performance and reduce both operational and IT costs.
  • Evolving regulatory requirements regarding data capture, retention, protection, and security, as well as the increasing risk of severe legal and financial consequences, are determining organization priorities and driving IT investments.
  • Change management shall include alternative governance models- a somewhat underestimated challenge also in terms of IT - that for instance brings together physicians and nurses from different care centers, or changes in funding models that provide an incentive for long-term care and a more collaborative culture.
In "Western Europe: Hospital Sector, Business Solution Investment Trends Survey: How Hospitals Will Invest in 2013," (Document # #HIOH12V), IDC Health Insights analyzes the key findings of the annual Western European survey, involving 158 healthcare provider IT and non-IT executives in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K., and focuses on hospital business solution investment trends, enterprise solutions, and clinical solutions. The study analyzes how recent changes in health policies and the need to transform the healthcare delivery model are impacting the way hospitals will select and implement ICT solutions. This is the first of a series of studies that analyze the results of the annual survey.

For additional information about this study, or to arrange a one-on-one briefing with Silvia Piai, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-378-2674 or Summary reports are available to qualified members of the media. For information on purchasing reports, contact

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IDC Health Insights assists health businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the payer, provider and life sciences industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit, email, or call 508-935-4445. Visit the IDC Health Insights Community at
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