Health Care and Medical companies on the InformationWeek 500 always have been ahead of their foot-dragging peers when it comes to using IT to make their organizations more efficient. But now, with the federal government setting goals for industrywide adoption of technologies that can improve patient care, eliminate inefficiencies, and dramatically reduce costs, InformationWeek 500 health care companies are further intensifying their tech focus.
Nearly 80% say their IT spending this year will exceed last year's. The sector upped its average IT spending to 3.5% of annual revenue from 3% in 2005. And 55% of companies' IT budgets go to ongoing maintenance, while 45% is earmarked for new projects.
Of the health care InformationWeek 500, 63% say they have widely deployed business intelligence tools. That's the same percentage as the banking and financial services industry, which has long been a tech-leading sector.
But privacy and security remain paramount issues for health care companies. It's not surprising that they're leaders in encrypting customer records. In fact, 63% of companies say they're encrypting those records.
Finally, despite competition from overseas health providers, only 3% of InformationWeek 500 health care companies say they're pursuing new global opportunities.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, at No. 43, was the highest ranking health care company on the InformationWeek 500 this year.