Electronic Health Records: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

George Palma | Becker's Hospital Review | October 14, 2013

With passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act, electronic health records have been widely adopted across healthcare organizations large and small. While there are many benefits to EHRs — improved accessibility to patient data, increased charge capture and improved preventative health — there are inherent problems in adopting this technology.

An EHR is only as good as the processes that it supports. If the technology is not supported with well-thought processes, hospitals may invest in complicated and expensive technologies that create more waste in a system already fraught with inefficiency.

When adopting new technology, vendors and healthcare providers from the early stages of EHR planning need to identify and eliminate waste in processes that involve the use of EHRs to ensure positive outcomes before making large investments. Lean management in healthcare is a valuable tool way to meet this objective as it educates hospital executives, clinicians and staff to seek out and eliminate waste.