The economic crisis is forcing many hospitals to make tough decisions with scarce resources, including delaying and scaling down information technology (IT) projects, according to a survey conducted by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. The Most Wired Survey is conducted annually to name the 100 most wired hospitals and health systems.

"The economic slowdown is forcing hospitals to look closely at IT spending," says Alden Solovy, executive editor of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. "Most wired hospitals are doing their best to stay the course."

To complicate matters, health care reform looms in the near future.

But hospitals continue to invest in electronic medication management. The 2009 survey found an overall increase in both provider order entry of medications and electronic bedside matching at the time medications are administered.

At the typical hospital responding to the survey, 26 percent of medications are entered electronically by physicians, compared with 19 percent in 2008. The typical respondent has 40 percent of medications matched at the bedside, compared with 30 percent in 2008. (For more on service providers and healthcare, click here).

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