External spending plans seem fairly evenly split, with an average 35% expected to go on hardware and 30% on software.
Ovum analyst Cornelia Wels-Maug said "The overall outlook for hospitals' IT expenditure is more optimistic for 2011 than for 2010. This year our survey confirms that, due to a heavy governmental push, electronic health records (EHRs) represent the dominant clinical application priority overall."
Digital imaging systems are the second investment priority in the clinical area, but expenditure is also expected for scheduling, billing, admissions, and reporting systems.
Hospital CIOs are investigating telehealth and mobile health applications as a way of leveraging consumer interest in tablets and smartphones.
Approximately 45 CIOs from Australian hospitals were interviewed in the survey.