EMR ROI is Real

While many physicians believe return on investment (ROI) in health care technology is a figment of an overactive imagination, a growing body of evidence supports the conclusion that clinical applications increase efficiency, improve quality, and boost patient safety.

IT Supports New Health Care Models in 2011

A new study shows that health care providers will use technology to improve care and cut costs in 2011. Health care providers will use technology to improve care and cut costs in 2011, according to The Camden Group, a business advisory firm that released a new report, “Top 10 Trends in Healthcare in 2011.” Information technology underpins providers’ ability to shift to new care models, says The Camden Group, so IT will move to center stage in 2011. Examples will include the implementation of electronic medical records (EMRs), computerized physician order entry, and health information exchanges.

Making an EHR Work for You

Six years ago, President George W. Bush stated that “by computerizing health records, we can avoid dangerous medical mistakes, reduce costs and improve care.” Since then, computerization has slowly improved the health care system, especially in light of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which provided $19 billion in incentives to health care providers that use EHRs. Why they fail, according to experts from the Institute of Medicine who visited health care facilities, may be because they’re simply hard to use: Health care providers have to flip among many screens to access data, which can be more cumbersome that working with paper charts.

Is Health Care IT Living Up to Expectations?

EHRs are a long way from living up to expectations, according to a recent article in Computerworld — but not all EHRs present common problems. As of 2009, only 12% of U.S. hospitals had adopted electronic health records (EHRs), according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health . That may be because many EHR projects fail, according to a study by University College London . And they fail, in many cases, because they’re hard to use, to experts from the Institute of Medicine : Health care providers have to flip among many screens to access data, which can be more cumbersome than working with paper charts.

Are You Using Best Practices for EHR Implementation?

When 30 percent to 40 percent of all electronic health record (EHR) implementations fail, by some estimates, following best practices is essential to success — and those practices are surprisingly simple, according to two consultants. The following six best practices are essential to success in EHR implementation.

No Backlog for Meaningful Use Testing and Certification

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) has begun posting names of certified electronic medical records (EMRs), and says it does not anticipate a backlog accommodating additional testing. Meaningful use certification is required to qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The CCHIT has increased its capacity to accommodate anticipated increased demand.

HIMSS Introduces Quality Primer

Confused about quality reporting? You won’t be for long. HIMSS has introduced Quality 101, a new online primer designed to help health care providers understand quality measurement. Quality reporting is an essential component of an electronic health record (EHR)—but until recently, quality improvement activities and quality measurement have been separated, according to Lou Diamond, chairman of HIMSS Patient Safety and Quality Outcomes Committee.

Act Now to be a Meaningful User In 2011

Incentive payments for physicians who adopt electronic health records (EHRs) will begin in 2011. To take full advantage, implement your EHR in 2010. Most physicians know by now that “ meaningful users ” of “ certified EHR technology ” are eligible to receive up to $44,000 over a five-year period.