More than 50 percent of provider organizations recently surveyed expect to increase their information technology investments, and more than a quarter will maintain their investments, if they receive meaningful use incentive payments. Only about 5 percent or less expect to reduce these budgets.

Beacon Partners, a Weymouth, Mass.-based consultancy, conducted the survey of 200 organizations, nearly all of them hospitals and more than half community hospitals. Other survey results include:

* About 60 percent of respondents have development of health information exchange strategies under development with nearly 25 percent of others pre-planning. About 15 percent have an operational HIE.

* More than three-quarters prefer a single vendor for inpatient applications versus best of breed, with single-vendor also preferred by more than half for ambulatory areas and physician practices.

* 40 percent of respondents have plans to enhance physician and patient Web portals.

* Meeting quality-reporting requirements is the biggest concern of achieving meaningful use for 73 percent of respondents.

More information is available at

--Joseph Goedert


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