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UK and Irish healthcare professionals see IT funding as insufficient to a higher degree than in almost all other countries in Europe

HIMSS UK 18.10.17

TALLINN, ESTONIA - October 18th, 2017 a new report by HIMSS Europe released today has revealed that health and IT professionals from across the UK and Ireland are more concerned about IT funding than those in any other country in Europe, with the exception of Italy.

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 the UK and Ireland, where 80% and 86% percent, respectively, 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2017/2018 does not support them in meeting different sets of challenges, ranging from cyber-attacks to simply removing outdated technologies.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 shortly after 16 NHS acute Global Digital Exemplars (17 trusts – one is a joint formed of two trusts) were announced to receive £10 million matched funding from central funds to build on their existing digital achievements and to reach Level 7 of the HIMSS electronic medical adoption model. At the beginning of October, an additional 18 acute ‘fast followers’ were also identified by NHS England to receive up to £3 million matched funding and to reach EMRAM Level 5 as well as to develop ‘blueprints’ for wave of trusts to work with.

Having sufficient budget is just one side of the coin. The other is to have ambitious-enough goals to be a leader of digital transformation. The survey also demonstrated that eHealth Professionals in the UK have a strong desire to improve their leadership skills within their organisations.

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 “Health in the Digital Society. Digital Society for Health” conference in Tallinn, Estonia organised by the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs as part of Estonia’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, ECHAlliance and HIMSS Europe.

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:

"The implementation of electronic patient records, which is widespread in the NHS, 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 reports findings, please visit www.himss.eu/AnnualSurvey

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