Most Healthcare Trustees Lack IT Experience

Only 5 percent of executive boards have a dedicated technology committee, an industry survey finds.

An IT knowledge gap at the executive level can leave healthcare organizations vulnerable to dangerous threats and unnecessary spending, according to a new survey of board members and executive leadership.

Ninety-one percent of hospital and health system boards rely exclusively on consultants to guide their IT strategy — and only 5 percent have a dedicated technology committee, a Black Book Research poll found. Just 4 percent of trustees have direct technology experience relevant to the healthcare industry.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that 90 percent of trustees say their boards aren’t prepared to handle a complete failure of an electronic health record system

The survey notes similar uncertainties concerning a large-scale data breach or hack (85 percent) and switching to an EHR system with a new ­ vendor (84 percent).

Such doubt can also affect the bottom line. Despite nearly one-quarter of executives ­citing high knowledge of ROI from tech investments, 92 percent of them knew nothing about IT lifecycle cost studies. And most CFOs believe that boards’ inexperience with health-related technology results in overspending on software and services.

Because health systems are embracing new tools that support external functions such as marketing, analytics, intelligence and interoperability, IT acumen must exist at all levels of an ­organization, says Black Book Research founder Doug Brown.

“Health systems boardrooms are definitely becoming smarter about digital technology but it is a slow work in progress,” Brown says.

Learn how healthcare ­organizations can take a fresh look at innovation at healthtechmagazine.net/forward.

Oct 10 2019

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