EHR Implementation Still Costs Too Much

Nicole Lewis | InformationWeek | July 9, 2012

Hospitals have always had problems securing the initial down payment for electronic health record (EHR) implementation; a recently released poll from KPMG suggests that financing such projects remains an ongoing concern that promises to last throughout the implementation phase and beyond.

The recently released results of a May poll that surveyed more than 220 hospital and health system administrators found that while 49% of respondents are more than halfway to completing full EHR implementation, 48% of those polled said they are only somewhat comfortable with the level of budgeting their organization planned for EHR deployment. Nine percent said they weren't comfortable at all with their budget plans, while 18% said they were unsure. On the positive side, 25% said they were very comfortable with the funding they had for their EHR implementation project.

With the majority of those polled expressing some level of discomfort about how they will pay for their project moving forward, Gary Anthony, principal with KPMG Healthcare, said the poll findings suggest that healthcare executives miscalculated the costs of their EHR projects. "Organizations underestimated the impact and the effort required to fully implement an EHR. They also underestimated just how transformative this would be to their organization as a whole," Anthony said in an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare. "This is the largest, most significant investment that a health delivery organization will go through. EHRs touch and change everything within the organization, and so I think [there's been] a lack of experience and a lack of understanding about the magnitude of the effort."...