CFOs see Internet, wireless as viable tech investments

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Poll respondents said infrastructure upgrades are a priority.
Poll respondents said infrastructure upgrades are a priority.

Executives are typically allocating between 2% and 3% of their operating budgets for technology, according to a recent Ziegler survey. More assets are devoted within the capital budget, with an average of 12% of those blueprints devoted to technology. 

More than 130 chief financial officers participated in the survey, with 58% of them from single-site organizations.

Respondents said they are investing more in technology since the last poll in 2012. The largest proportion of organizations said they are investing in technology infrastructure, such as high-speed Internet or wireless networks, as well as increasing resident access to the Internet. 

One person wrote, “All of our buildings are situated in rural areas so in order to bring more technology into our buildings, we must have reliable/redundant Internet and fail-safe IT infrastructure.”  

Executives said those initiatives, as well as investing in electronic health and medical records, top their list of anticipated expenditures. One respondent noted that technology is becoming a large organizational operating expense, particularly with “the growing advent of EHR considerations.”

Providers overall said they are the least likely to invest in physical exercise or rehabilitation technology or automatic fall detectors. However, while only 13% of single-site organizations said they are planning to invest in fall detectors, that percent rose to 24% among multi-site organizations. Comparatively, more single-site organizations said they would invest in physical exercise and rehabilitation technologies. Around 25% said they plan to make some investment in brain health/cognitive stimulation technology in the next year.

The Ziegler CFO Hotline survey, completed in early 2014, was done with input from LeadingAge CAST, and publicized by Ziegler in June. Participants can sign up at http://www.ziegler.com/investment-banking/senior-living/contact/.