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4 in 10 Healthcare Execs Dissatisfied with EHRs

Lena J. Weiner, for HealthLeaders Media, June 3, 2014

This is the second year in a row that health IT has been the most commonly cited capital investment, but the percentage has risen from 46 percent in spring 2013 and from 45 percent in spring 2012. Additionally, 27% of respondents cited Health IT as the biggest driver of costs in their health system.
Spending on clinical healthcare information accounts for between 25% and 35% of an average hospital's capital budget.


EHR Letdowns Won't Hinder HIT Spending


While he thinks modern EHRs have come a long way from where they were even five years ago, Michael O'Rourke, senior vice president and chief information officer at Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives, a non-profit health system, can easily tally the major painpoints caused by EHRs.

Along with the transition to digital, problems with availability, interoperability and security begin to crop up. "If there's a glitch or planned downtime, it's very hard on our clinicians. But unplanned downtime— now, that's very, very tough on them," O'Rourke says, of staff in CHI's 89 hospitals in 18 states.


The Trouble with EHRs


Many clinicians, he adds, have felt that their workflow has been disrupted by moving from the time-honored pencil and paper medical chart system to digital, causing widespread frustration with the new records systems.

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2 comments on "4 in 10 Healthcare Execs Dissatisfied with EHRs"


Tim Pansare (6/20/2014 at 9:49 AM)
Many providers have chosen an EHR and are now unhappy with their choice. Multiple reasons can lead to that situation. First, doctors might not have purchased the right product, for a variety of reasons. For example, they might have outside influences to purchase a specific product which might not be a right choice as per their clinical specialty or as per their workflow . Second, physicians might not be completely engaged in the [INVALID]ion of the product. And third, in some cases, doctors buy the right product but they are just not using it effectively. The bottom line is, providers who are making the decision about which EHR to buy have to realize how profoundly the decision will affect all aspects of the practice. As a national EHR company, many times we have to customize the system from a workflow perspective. EHR vendors should also emphasize on providing adequate training to clinical staff as lack of training is another reason why physicians may dislike the EHR.

bennett (6/6/2014 at 11:26 AM)
The other "ility" out there is Usability. Many EHR vendors still have an 'engineering-centric' development process that leads to high training costs and unsatisfied users. Some current EHRs are like the first HP calculators. Scientists loved them, but people like you and me thought that they were 'goofy' mainly because they didn't match our mental model of how to do math. Engineering-centric EHRs, for example, have vital signs for entry presented in alphabetical order ( Systolic near the bottom of a scrollable list - diastolic near the top) -making entry of something as simple as a blood pressure way more complex than necessary. User-centered Design is the way to go - Google it!