Hospital CIOs not hesitant to use consultants for IT projects

March 1, 2012 — 2:31pm ET | By Dan Bowman

Hospital CIOs increasingly are using consultants to help deal with projects–such as electronic health record implementation to meet Meaningful Use requirements–according to a new survey conducted by

Nearly 62 percent of respondents in the survey cited a lack of resources and/or experience as the main reason for looking outside their organizations for help.

“The number of projects is starting to take its toll on the internal staff,” one CIO respondent said.

A second CIO said that there was no wiggle room for error: “In some cases, we need someone to guide us that has the knowledge to keep us from making mistakes.”

Despite the increase in outside hiring, most respondents indicated that their organizations anticipated the need for such additional hires. Sixty-nine percent said they did not expect they would have to forgo “needed consulting” due to lack of funding. Additionally, 69 percent said they did not think it would be harder to get money for hiring consultants than for software investment.

According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, an annual survey of hospital IT executives found lack of staffing resources, as opposed to lack of financial support, is the biggest barrier to health IT implementation.

Meanwhile, consulting firm Deloitte listed Meaningful Use as one of five “top-of-mind” issue for CIOs in 2012. Deloitte’s list of top CIO issues for 2012 also included the implementation of accountable care organizations and–despite a delay in the implementation deadline–ICD-10. Analytics and security and privacy rounded out the list.