Abstract

The third annual Healthcare Issues Survey was conducted during the Ontario Hospital Association Conference in November 2001. Undertaken with the joint sponsorship of Hospital Quarterly, Philips and the OHA, the Survey asked conference participants to rank the issues that are most critical in their organizations. Close to 600 conference delegates participated, a significant increase over the 414 participants in last year's survey.

Those who responded ….

The composition of the respondents remained consistent with previous years, with delegates from community hospitals supplying 52% of responses. Hospitals with operating budgets of less than $50-million dominated the responses - 38% of the total. The largest single group by profession were clinical managers (16%) followed by other medical professionals (10%), board members (9%), IT professionals (7%) and nurses (7%).

… and what they told us.

For the first time, participants were asked to identify the most significant challenge they face in their work. The three top responses from the 323 delegates who answered were: funding and financial resources (26%), staffing (14%) and workload (9%).

Importance of Factors in Managing Healthcare Environment

Asked about the importance of various factors in managing their healthcare environment, "pressures on costs" emerged as the most commonly cited issue. This was followed by the "increasing demands of the aging population" and the "need to communicate with other professionals."

Impact of Medical Advances in Healthcare Organizations

When asked about the impact of medical advances in healthcare organizations, delegates indicated that "new diagnostic techniques" were having the greatest influence, followed by "new pharmaceutical products" and "aggressive disease management protocols."

Expectation of the Impact of IT Applications

A question about the expectation of the impact of information technology applications on their organization, found that most believed "Intranets/extranets" would have the strongest impact, followed by "data mining tools" and "decision tools."

Learning Method About New Technology

Asked about how they learned about new technologies, the most commonly indicated method was the "Internet" followed by "continuing education programs" and "conferences"