High-speed connectivity ranks high on the list of technology-deployment priorities for long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) providers. Most (90%) of the chief financial officers (CFO) responding to a recent Ziegler-CAST Technology Spending Survey said they had invested in wired or wireless connectivity infrastructure in the past year. Three-quarters (75.3%) said they plan to invest or increase their investment in this technology during the next 12 months.
The survey’s findings also hint at future increases in organizational spending on:
- Electronic medical records (EMR).
- Electronic point of care documentation systems.
- Health information exchange.
- Telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM).
“The future increases reflect the important roles that these 4 categories of technology will play in future business models, including those driven by health reform,” said CAST Executive Director Majd Alwan, Ph.D., who developed the questions along with others at LeadingAge for Ziegler.
Eighty-one organizations responded to the survey, which CAST posted on the Ziegler CFO Hotline in collaboration with Ziegler, a LeadingAge Partner.
Areas of Investment in the Past 12 Months
Organizations responding to the Ziegler-CAST Technology Spending Survey said they had invested in the following technologies during the past 12 months:
- High-speed connectivity: 90%
- EMRs: 46.3%
- Electronic point of care documentation systems: 45%
- Access control/wander management systems: 43.8%
- Physical exercise and rehabilitation technologies: 37.5%
- Personal emergency response systems (PERS): 36.3%
- Internet access and social networking for residents and clients: 36.3%
- Video conferencing for residents and clients: 28.8%
- Automated fall detectors: 18.8%
- Brain health technologies: 15%
Future Areas of Investment
Over the next 12 months, CFOs plan on investing or increasing their investment in:
- High-speed internet connectivity: 75.3%
- EMRs: 70.1%
- Electronic point of care documentation systems: 62.3%
- PERS: 35.1%
- Health information exchange: 31.2%
- Access control/wander management systems: 28.6%
- Video conferencing for residents and clients: 26%
- Internet access and social networking for residents and clients: 23.4%
- Physical exercise and rehabilitation technologies: 20.8%
- Telehealth/remote patient monitoring: 16.9%
Capital and Operating Budgets
Most technology investments take place in campus buildings and facilities (63 responses), compared to home and community-based operations (19), according to the survey results. Of the 73 organizations reporting, 43 said they spent between 5%-10% of their capital budgets on the technologies listed in the survey. Most capital budget investments were made in upgrades and renovations (42), compared to new construction (20) and new operations (15).
Based on the responses of 60 organizations, the survey found that most operating budget investments were made in technologies for campus buildings and facilities (47 responses), compared to home and community-based operations (22). Fifty-six out of 60 organizations reported spending 5%-10% of their operating budgets supporting the technologies listed in the survey. Most operating budget investments were made in upgrades and renovations (29), compared to new construction (13) and new operations (13).
“This pioneering survey provides insights into technology spending and the types of technologies in which providers are investing” said Alwan. “We are hoping to conduct this survey annually, in partnership with Ziegler, to unveil important trends, shifting technology priorities and subsequent changes in spending patterns.”
About the CFO Hotline
Ziegler CFO Hotline is a free, electronic e-mail exchange. It allows CFOs at senior living organizations to submit and respond to survey questions online. Ziegler collects, assembles and disseminates the survey responses.