Landmark research from BridgeHead Software suggests that provider organizations
are bracing for a deluge of data

Woburn, MA – April 28, 2010 – BridgeHead Software, the Healthcare Storage Virtualization (HSV) company, today announced the results of its Data Management Healthcheck 2010 survey of hospitals and healthcare organizations worldwide. The results highlighted fascinating industry trends, including how healthcare IT departments intend to spend their money in upcoming months. Data backup, business continuity and disaster recovery topped the list with 44% of respondents indicating it was their top IT investment priority, followed by Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) (38%) and digitizing paper records (35%).

These results no doubt indicate healthcare leaders’ expectations of a significant rise in data volume in the near future. Forty-one percent of respondents are preparing for annual increases of up to 25%, and an additional 18% are expecting data volume to rise between 25% and 50% per year. In considering the leading drivers of this growth, digital imaging ranks highest followed by EHR documents and scanned documents such as insurance ID cards and healthcare proxy forms.

The survey represents input from more than 130 senior healthcare executives and directors in North America and Europe. The survey was made available online, and to attendees at HIMSS 2010 in Atlanta March 1-4 and at World of Healthcare IT (WoHIT) in Barcelona, March 15-18.

“We believe these results are reflective of the state of the industry today,” says Tony Cotterill, CEO of BridgeHead Software. “Healthcare is making a rapid transition from paper-based to electronic documents, transforming how organizations plan for and manage data. The survey underscores several areas that will require significant attention in the future – including the most effective methods to provide both access to and security of sensitive information.”

Designed to gauge the industry’s readiness for, and response to, explosive growth of information technologies and the data they produce, the survey also highlighted surprising opinions about the much-hyped cloud computing paradigm. Approximately 80% of respondents said they had very little interest in cloud computing, with a majority indicating their hesitancy was founded in concern about protecting data in a cloud environment.

“On one hand, these results are somewhat surprising, given the prevalence of discussions about the benefits of cloud computing,” notes Cotterill. “Yet it is also understandable that healthcare institutions want to vouchsafe the confidentiality of patient information.”

Although healthcare is proceeding cautiously, many experts anticipate that a cloud strategy will play an escalating role in data storage, backup and archiving. “Other industries are leading the way,” points out Cotterill. “They have discovered that including the cloud as an integral component of their overarching IT strategy offers a number of benefits, including increased efficiency, scalability and cost savings. We will watch with interest to see if healthcare organizations demonstrate a move to cloud adoption in the future.”

He adds that leadership at BridgeHead Software is confident these survey results will provide insights and deliver practical information that healthcare organizations can incorporate in their own planning.