Study Finds Hospitals Unprepared for Full Cost of EHR Implementation

February 13, 2014 in News

When implementing electronic health record systems, hospitals do not always take into account the full costs of implementation, according to a study published online Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Medical News Today reports.

Study Details

For the study, researchers examined the implementation of three unique EHR systems at 12 United Kingdom health care organizations. The organizations were located in three different regions of the country and were at different stages of implementation.

The researchers also conducted 41 interviews between 2009 and 2011 with 36 individuals who were:

  • Staff members at hospitals where EHRs were being implemented;
  • Members of the local implementation team; or
  • Individuals involved in the implementation at a national level.

Study Findings

The researchers identified four main areas of EHR implementation-related costs:

  • Facilities, such as available space;
  • Infrastructure, such as hardware and software;
  • Personnel; and
  • Other items, such as training programs.

The study noted that hospitals most frequently cut back on training expenses when trying to reduce implementation costs.

However, the authors wrote, “Failure to adequately train staff or to follow key steps in implementation has preceded many of the failures in this domain, which can create new safety hazards.”

In addition, the study found that implementation at the hospitals studied was slower than expected (Medical News Today, 2/13).

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