Oroville Hospital's EHR Implementation Cost Well Under Industry Average

Press Release | Oroville Hospital | January 23, 2013

CEO Robert Wentz addresses VistA Community Meeting in Sacramento where he updated the audience on the latest developments of their open source VistA implementation as well as detailed cost data.

Oroville, CA, January 23, 2013– Robert Wentz, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Oroville Hospital, gave a presentation at the 26th VistA Community meeting in Sacramento, CA, where he showed the audience a detailed cost analysis for their open source EHR implementation which shows that the hospital spent less than 25% of the average cost of a proprietary EHR implementation for a regional hospital. According to Wentz, the total cost of Oroville's VistA implementation has totaled $12.8 million. Of this total, the VistA component is $6.6 million while the additional $6.2 million corresponds to new computer and network equipment, as well as new laboratory equipment and other hardware costs. This is a strikingly low figure when compared to proprietary EHR implementations in regional hospitals which is currently averaging on the low end, $25 to $30 million per hospital.

Wentz added that the implementation was carried out without any decrease in inpatient volume and no disruption in cash flow due to the EHR deployment. Currently the EHR is fully operational in both inpatient and outpatient settings, the emergency room, as well as all clinics affiliated with the hospital. As a result of the VistA implementation, Oroville Hospital has received $5 million so far in meaningful use reimbursements. According to Wentz, one of the key benefits of the EHR implementation is that Oroville Hospital is now able to more accurately bill for the services that it provides its patients. As a result hospital care reimbursements are estimated to improve by $10 million for charges that would have been missed previously.

Wentz’s presentation was followed by presentations by senior US government officials who are working with the VistA community to develop a common EHR including Roger Baker, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Michael O'Neill, Senior Advisor, VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2), Department of Veterans Affairs, and Howard Hays, CIO, of the Indian Health Service (IHS). In addition, Seong Ki Mun, President and CEO of the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent (OSEHRA), gave a detailed presentation on the growing success of the code repository community organization. Stephen Oxley, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of North Carolina's Central Regional Hospital, gave a presentation on their VistA implementation. Following Oroville's example, this State hospital in North Carolina is self-implementing VistA.

As usual, the conference was attended by several of the key members of Oroville's team including CIO Denise LeFevre, Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO) Dr. Narinder Singh, and the head of Oroville's new development office, Zach Gonzales.

Wentz also took time during his presentation to announce that Oroville Hospital will be adopting the Apache 2.0 license for all the code contributions that it will be making to the community. A good part of the money spent in implementing VistA was invested in developing enhancements and add-ons to the open source EHR to make it work better in the hospital. One of these packages is the ePrescribe module that provides all the capabilities of electronic prescribing as required by Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements. Wentz discussed in detail the reasoning behind the decision. One of the key points is that using the Apache 2.0 license would benefit the greatest number of users and over the long term be more adaptable, scalable, and dependable than a restrictive open source license.

About Oroville Hospital

Founded in 1962, Oroville Hospital has grown from a modest community hospital supported by a small staff of dedicated doctors into a 153-bed acute care facility specializing in a broad range of inpatient and outpatient services, including multiple physician practices. Oroville Hospital is a private, non-profit corporation serving the citizens of the Oroville area and Butte County by OroHealth Corporation. With a medical staff of more than 130 physicians, Oroville Hospital prides itself on providing the highest quality medical care in a friendly and compassionate environment.

For more information, please contact:

Shanna Roelofson
Director of Marketing
Oroville Hospital