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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

EHR Implementation in the Hosptials - Where are we?

Despite doubts about finances, hospitals moving forward with EHRs

Originally posted in HealthITNews

According to this article only 48% of healthcare business leaders said they're "somewhat comfortable" with the budgets allocated for the EHR deployment. 

Although there are incentive programs, and the obvious benefit of enhanced communication between departments as well as consolidation of the Electronic Medical Records for a given patient, a lot of learning has to take place between new and existing workforce to have the comfort level using the systems systematically. 

 We look at training as an integral part of the implementation that must be catered to different groups of workforce based on their involvement with the system. It is not just about the technology, it is about the staff that will use this technology.

NEW YORK – A new study from KPMG finds nearly half of business leaders at hospitals and health systems are more than halfway through full EHR deployments, even as many harbor doubts about how much funding their organizations have planned to support the initiatives.

Some 49 percent of hospital and health system business administrators who participated in the poll said they were more than 50 percent of the way to completing EHR deployment.

Meanwhile, almost the same number (48 percent) of health system business leaders said they're "only somewhat comfortable" with the level of budgeting their organization has planned for EHR deployment, according to KPMG. Nine percent said they weren't comfortable at all while 18 percent said they were unsure. Only 25 percent said they were "very comfortable."

"There is a level of uneasiness as to whether there is adequate funding to complete these projects," said Gary Anthony, principal with KPMG Healthcare. "In most organizations, EHR deployment will most likely be one of the most transformational projects that they've ever undertaken, as well as one of the largest investments outside of the construction of a new hospital they've ever made."
Nonetheless, he added, many hospitals still look at EHR deployments as "just an IT project, and that may be why we are seeing multiple extensions to scope, timeline and budget."

In terms of resource strategies used to complete EHR deployment, 46 percent of hospital and health system execs said they're using a multiple-resource strategy. This was followed by leveraging existing staff (16 percent), hiring new or additional staff (13 percent) and securing third party assistance (10 percent). Fifteen percent said they didn't know.

When asked whether their organization had a mobility access strategy that provides clinicians and patients with "anywhere" access to EHRs, roughly half of the administrators said they didn't know.

"EHR deployment isn't an end point," said Jerry Howell, principal with KPMG Healthcare. "It's an important step in an organization's journey to automate the clinical functions within the hospital or health system and improvement to quality and patient safety. There needs to be continued focus on resourcing and having the correct sponsorship and commitment to deploy an EHR and to continue to support and use it."


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