Overcoming obstacles to EHR implementation

The federal government is determined to see that every American has an electronic health record (EHR) by 2014—but many physicians are still wary of implementing one. While physicians generally recognize an EHR’s ability to improve patient care and reduce costs, they struggle with the financial and technical hurdles it takes to successfully implement one. The absence of a solid business model also provides a sticking point. “For the primary doctor in practice who adopts an EHR, the practice doesn’t get any bigger, the revenue stream doesn’t go up any higher and the workload doesn’t become measurably more efficient,” says George Halvorson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals “The front-line providers need some kind of financial reason to move.” That reason to move, of course, is the up to $44,000 in incentive payments available to physicians who prove “meaningful use” of an EHR. And physicians who start early stand to benefit the most. But then another obstacle arises: Just what is meaningful use? It’s true that the definition of meaningful use is still under debate. But a final definition of meaningful use is expected within a few months—and we know, for the most part, what it will include. “The major parameters are actually written into the bill,” says Mark Leavitt, president and CEO of the Certification Commission for Healthcare IT, “It has to be a certified EHR, it has to include e-prescribing, it has to be able to exchange information and it has to be able to report quality data. “I’m not sure if we have to know more than that—if you are a provider—to be able to make a technology investment now.” Contact us for more information. Related article: Overcoming obstacles to HER implementation

The federal government is determined to see that every American has an electronic health record (EHR) by 2014—but many physicians are still wary of implementing one.

While physicians generally recognize an EHR’s ability to improve patient care and reduce costs, they struggle with the financial and technical hurdles it takes to successfully implement one.

The absence of a solid business model also provides a sticking point. “For the primary doctor in practice who adopts an EHR, the practice doesn’t get any bigger, the revenue stream doesn’t go up any higher and the workload doesn’t become measurably more efficient,” says George Halvorson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals “The front-line providers need some kind of financial reason to move.”

That reason to move, of course, is the up to $44,000 in incentive payments available to physicians who prove “meaningful use” of an EHR. And physicians who start early stand to benefit the most.

But then another obstacle arises: Just what is meaningful use?

It’s true that the definition of meaningful use is still under debate. But a final definition of meaningful use is expected within a few months—and we know, for the most part, what it will include.

“The major parameters are actually written into the bill,” says Mark Leavitt, president and CEO of the Certification Commission for Healthcare IT, “It has to be a certified EHR, it has to include e-prescribing, it has to be able to exchange information and it has to be able to report quality data. “I’m not sure if we have to know more than that—if you are a provider—to be able to make a technology investment now.”

Contact us for more information.

Related article:

Overcoming obstacles to HER implementation

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.