When asked about their key priorities for 2022, the healthcare IT leaders we surveyed identified a few, but one seemed to stand out: reducing clinician burnout.
The timing couldn’t be better.
Although 2020 marked the first time in which frontline workers were truly recognized for their hard work and bravery — at least, on a global scale, 2021 proved to be just as difficult for physicians, nurses, and other critical personnel. From massive vaccine rollouts to surges caused by Covid-19 variants, hospitals faced one challenge after another, all while dealing with budget cuts and staff shortages.
It’s no wonder that Covid-19 recovery was named the most pressing challenge in the past year by our respondents.
And of course, there are other areas in need of resources, including cybersecurity and remote monitoring/hospital-at-home programs, which were also identified as key priorities for organizations in 2022. Regarding the former, the majority (60 percent) of leaders surveyed say they plan to increase their IT security spend in the year ahead — which is not surprising, given that “keeping up with the latest threats” was identified as the top challenge in improving cybersecurity.
Another area of concern is talent recruiting and retention, which most respondents said has grown increasingly difficult. To remedy the situation, leaders are offering remote/hybrid options and cross-training with other departments. They’re also making a concerted effort to highlight individual and team achievements, and to reinforce IT’s connection to the organization’s mission by sharing stories.
Finally, CIOs were asked which accomplishment they were most proud of in 2022. One respondent pointed to the organization’s “response to the Covid challenges faced by our community,” adding, “We were nimble and innovative in our responses.” Another praised her team’s ability to transition EMRs “in a remote/hybrid fashion.”
Here’s hoping that both individual organizations, and the industry as a whole, continue to ride the wave of successes — even seemingly small ones — into 2022, and move toward a full Covid-19 recovery.