Published on October 30, 2023, 5:15 pm

TLDR: Hospitals are increasingly using AI and virtual care to address resource strain, but IT teams face operational burdens in their implementation. Retaining qualified IT resources and budgeting are challenges for CIOs. Healthcare organizations prioritize optimizing existing technology infrastructure and cybersecurity measures, while exploring flexible staffing models and hybrid cloud solutions to meet evolving demands.

Hospitals have been increasingly relying on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to alleviate resource strain caused by high labor expenses and financial challenges. However, the implementation and management of these new tools pose a significant operational burden for IT teams.

According to a recent survey, many healthcare organizations continue to struggle financially despite the pressure lifting for some providers. In response to these challenges, AI and virtual care adoption have emerged as potential solutions to address resource strains. While these technologies offer promise, IT teams are faced with the demanding task of implementing, supporting, and improving them.

In addition to grappling with operational burdens, healthcare IT workers also encounter workforce challenges. The survey revealed that retaining and budgeting for qualified IT resources is a top operational challenge for 44% of CIOs. To meet growing demands, organizations are exploring new staffing models. For instance, 36% of respondents expressed interest in flexible IT staffing that can be scaled up or down based on project requirements.

Financial pressures are further driving health IT executives to seek cost-cutting strategies. Over half of CIO respondents identified getting the most out of existing IT infrastructure as their top financial goal for 2023. Additionally, 28% emphasized the importance of reducing support costs.

While focusing on existing technology infrastructure, budgets are primarily allocated towards maintaining and optimizing electronic health records. For this year, 28% of respondents highlighted new version upgrades or system alignment through consolidation as their key area for IT investments.

Cybersecurity remains a critical priority in the healthcare industry due to large-scale data breaches with severe consequences for both costs and patient safety. Approximately 24% of survey participants stated that cybersecurity, privacy measures, and risk management were top priorities when considering IT investments.

Although the unemployment rate remains low—a positive indication that laid-off workers have found employment again—the number of tech occupations has decreased. This trend highlights the growing importance of hybrid cloud solutions for IT decision makers who are seeking security, flexibility, and scalability within enterprise infrastructure.

In conclusion, the healthcare industry is turning to AI and virtual care adoption to address resource constraints caused by financial challenges. However, implementing these technologies poses operational burdens for IT teams. Moreover, retaining qualified IT resources and aligning budgets with cost-cutting strategies are ongoing challenges for CIOs. While prioritizing existing technology infrastructure and cybersecurity measures, organizations are also exploring flexible staffing models and hybrid cloud solutions to meet evolving demands.

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