HIMSS Europe release Irish results of their annual survey

A new report by HIMSS Europe released today has revealed that health and IT professionals from across Ireland look to improve their leadership skills more than those in any other country in Europe, with the exception of Spain.

When asked to rate the importance of developing their leadership skills within their role / organisation on a scale from 1, not important to 5, very important, healthcare IT professionals in Ireland scored a mean value of 4.5, higher than most other countries in Europe with the exception of Spain.

Helping healthcare IT professionals develop leadership skills is just one side of the coin. The other is to have enough funding to be able to implement the eHealth goals that the digital transformation leaders pursue.

The annual report reveals that healthcare and IT professionals across a multitude of European countries believe they do not have enough IT funding to meet the challenges they face today. However, the situation seems to be exceptionally difficult in Ireland, where 86% percent of respondents said their IT budget for 2017/2018 does not support them in meeting different sets of challenges, ranging from cyber-attacks to simply removing outdated technologies.

The annual report highlights the diversity of the challenges faced by different European countries. While funding is perceived to be by far the biggest stumbling block in the UK (31%), Austria (30%), Ireland (28%) and Germany (15%), patient self-empowerment and self-management is the primary challenge for the Nordics (23%), the Netherlands (20%), and Spain (19%), suggesting the eHealth agenda is at different stages of development in these studies.

The findings come from the HIMSS Analytics European Annual Survey, supported by Hyland, where almost 600 healthcare and IT professionals from across Europe provided their views on the state of eHealth in Europe.

The results were announced during the Executive Leadership Summit, part of the Health Innovation Weekk. 

Stephen Bryant, Managing Director for HIMSS Europe and UK commented on the findings:

“This year’s results show that while the value and strength of health IT is perceived positively among mainline European professionals, there is still a lot of work to be done in the UK for developing digital maturity. Whilst issues around funding have been prevalent for some time, leadership skills development is, perhaps, the most relevant finding of this year’s survey, as it shows a growing desire for eHealth professionals to move into the boardroom and affect change at a whole new level.”

Cathy Fuhrman, EMEA Healthcare Industry Manager with Hyland, added:

This year's survey shows that relatively few European healthcare facilities appear to be giving IT the focus and financial investment required to meet these challenges. However, where digital technologies are adopted wholeheartedly, with buy-in throughout an organisation, they should ultimately have a positive effect on costs.

"The implementation of electronic patient records has proved to be of significant value to practitioners, allowing a greater level of care to be provided throughout the patient journey. What's more, technology is an enabler of efficiencies and IT investments will ultimately pay for themselves, as a result of the time they save staff and the better standard of care they allow.”

To explore the report’s findings, please visit www.himss.eu/AnnualSurvey

You can view the full press release here.