In previous posts, we’ve discussed the trends and topics impacting the healthcare industry and the ways that advanced Unified Communications (UC) solutions, such as video teleconferencing (VTC) can help healthcare organizations increase the access to care while reducing its cost.

The benefits that VTC can deliver are clearly turning heads among healthcare providers.

According to a recent survey by Premier, an alliance of more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals and 80,000-plus other healthcare sites, healthcare institutions are looking at cutting capital investments in the coming year. Compared to previous polls, seven percent fewer of the respondents expected their spending to remain flat or increase this year.

Despite this decrease in expected spending, IT investment was one of the areas that is expected to increase. An additional eight percent of respondents expected IT investments to be their biggest expenditures of the year.

Not all of that spending will be directed towards UC solutions. VTC implementations are just one IT spending trend in the healthcare industry. Ultimately, there are many IT initiatives that are currently high priority for healthcare organizations.

Healthcare providers are currently working hard to embrace electronic health records that will make it easier for patients and doctors to share patient information and medical histories. Also, despite deadlines being pushed back, the ICD-10 transition designed to simplify the billing process is requiring hospitals and other healthcare organizations to invest significantly in their IT systems.

However, VTC for telemedicine and telehealth implementations remains extremely beneficial for both providers and patients alike and a focus for CIOs at healthcare organizations.

By embracing telemedicine, healthcare providers can optimize their operations, see additional patients, share resources and otherwise operate more effectively. Patients can gain increased access to specialists and even the ability to have their chronic conditions monitored remotely without the need for repeat trips to the doctor or having an expensive home health aide. These benefits can make healthcare more affordable and accessible for all Americans, regardless of where they’re located.

With the movement towards electronic health records, the ICD-10 transition and the significant savings and benefits of telemedicine, it’s not surprising to see an increased investment in IT among healthcare organizations. It also shouldn’t be surprising when your next annual checkup is conducted via video.