Factor in 'Intangible Benefits'
Hinds says when taking all these factors into account, UC Health's new EHR is a success.
"We implemented our EHR less than a year ago, but to date have hit the economic and non-economic goals we set for the system," he says.
Hinds believes installing a system-wide EHR is "a have-to-do, not a want-to-do" in order for provider organizations to remain viable in their markets.
"It's hard or nearly impossible to justify the investment needed for a state-of-the-art EHR with hard-dollar savings," Hinds says. "You have to look beyond that to the intangible benefits, the improvements in delivery of care and positioning your organization to be competitive in the future."
"Fortunately our board is pretty savvy regarding healthcare issues, plus we have a number of physicians on the board, so they understand the benefits of the improvements in care," he adds.
Craig Richmond, associate CFO and vice president of revenue cycle at Cleveland-based MetroHealth agrees that defining the success of an IT installation should be done in broader terms than just the balance sheet.