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Hospitals Ramp Up Capital Spending on IT

Rene Letourneau, for HealthLeaders Media, May 6, 2013

In order to provide coordinated care throughout a health system, it has to be possible for patients' information to follow them and be available to every clinician in every setting, which can only be achieved through sophisticated IT systems that can speak to each other seamlessly.

Mark Bogen, senior vice president and CFO at South Nassau Communities Hospital, a 435-bed facility in Oceanside, N.Y., tells me that he is also not surprised by the Premier survey results.

"Given the fact that the surge in EMR is tied back to the availability of meaningful use dollars and, ultimately, to penalties starting in 2015, I would say about two thirds of dollars are being spent on EMR-related technologies, whether directly or by people upgrading other software that needs to talk to the EMR. On top of all of that, there is the need to marry clinical data with financial data so that it is meaningful beyond what the feds are requiring."

Bogen says SNCH is investing heavily in its own EMR, which will be fully implemented in a matter of weeks.

"We have spent a lot of money since 2010 moving forward with implementing our EMR between June 30, 2010 and June 30, 2013. We will probably have spent close to $30 million on the EMR in total... We certainly have spent much more of our capital budget on IT and the EMR."

Like the CFOs I spoke with earlier in the year, Bogen says he is banking on the EMR as a tool to improve care delivery.

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