Electronic Health Records

Adoption & Implementation News

KPMG report indicates unease in EHR implementation

By Patrick Ouellette

- EHR deployments are picking up, but some healthcare providers in the process of implementation have expressed concern about what happens next.

According to a KPMG Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Institute report, 49 percent of 220 hospital and health system administrators said they’re more than halfway finished with deployment. The number of respondents who weren’t confident in finishing off adoption was revealing. Only 25 percent were very comfortable with how their organization was handling EHR while 48 percent were only somewhat comfortable. Additionally, nine percent weren’t comfortable at all and 18 percent weren’t sure.

The common denominator in EHR concerns seems to be budget constraints. Organizations often have to invest a lot of cash that they’re not used to spending to ramp up and prepare for an EHR system. Then they need to spend more on training and implementation, so by the time they’re deep into the process, money begins to run short. These numbers reflect the importance of taking a holistic approach to EHR. Healthcare providers need to determine what the EHR costs are going to be from soup to nuts and evaluate whether it’s in the budget to properly maintain the system daily.

The report did give some insight as to how providers are trying to finish up EHR deployment. Much of these results depend on what’s available to the specific organization, but 46 percent said they’re using multiple resources, such as using current staff, adding new staff or hiring a third-party company. About 16 percent elected to use only internal resources, 13 percent looked for outside help and 10 percent used third-party support. There were also 15 percent who didn’t know how they planned on finishing the back nine of implementation.

“EHR deployment isn’t an end point. 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,” said Jerry Howell, principal with KPMG Healthcare said to PRNewsWire. “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.”

The Webcast that the report was derived from was released on May 2 and is available here.

*EHRIntelligence.com tried to get a breakdown of the types of healthcare providers (large, mid-size or small practices) that made up the 220 respondents, but was unable to reach KPMG.

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