Hospitals Doing Well With EHR Adoption Reveal Their Secrets to Success

A new Chartis Group survey has revealed that five years after many health systems have launched their electronic health records, they are yet to gain a positive return on their investment. This is an undesirable situation considering the huge financial commitment and the time it takes to plan and implement an EHR system.

So why are many hospitals not realizing the benefits of their EHRs? What are the organizations that are reaping the financial and clinical benefits of their EHR doing well? Those are the key questions answered by the Chartis Group’s survey.

The Need for EHR-Driven Success

The rising cost of operating a sophisticated EHR system can push some organizations back financially. This may even cause some critics of the new system to say that the whole system was a huge waste of resources.

After five years of reaching the fourth stage of the HIMSS EMR adoption model, the following benefits of a better clinical decision support system should start showing up:

  • A shorter length of stay in the hospital
  • Huge reductions in the number of adverse drug occurrences
  • Higher nursing efficiency
  • Faster cash collections
  • Improved preventative care

If your organization has implemented an EHR for over a year and you haven’t seen any of these benefits, you need to contact an expert like HEF Solutions to perform an EHR audit.

What Are Successful Hospitals Doing Right?

Regardless of the many failures, there are many health systems that are enjoying a high return on their investment in new electronic health records. The greatest benefits show up in improved cost efficiency and higher quality of patient care.

For instance, Texas Health Resources reduced adverse drug occurrences by 60-percent in three facilities and saved $10 million in one year. Sentara saved $57 million through their new EHR and reduced their hospital mortality ratio by 50-percent. Memorial Hermann saw a savings of $2 million per year by using standardized electronic ordering.

How to Improve the Results from Your EHR

The Chartis Group report confirms what we preach at HEF Solutions: obtaining lasting value from your EHR implementation requires a sustained and organized effort, coupled with a strong commitment from the organization’s leaders.

Apart from the technical details involved in the implementation, deploying an EHR effectively depends on the understanding of the changes required in enterprise-wide culture and process changes to be made by all clinicians. The healthcare provider must focus on realizing the full benefits highlighted earlier and not get caught up in the nitty-gritty of process design and implementation.

Successful health systems share similar characteristics. They purchased their EHRs to use them to achieve pre-determined strategic outcomes. They also know how to drive the implementation towards achieving set goals. They focus more on innovation that changes the way healthcare is delivered rather than on how to flip a switch and use the new system.

Finally, the report highlighted the need to constantly measure the system’s benefits after it goes live. You can start doing this by examining quality indicators, key performance indicators (KPI), and financial data, or by working with an EHR system expert like HEF Solutions.


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