Court Dings CA County For Mishandled EHR Implementation

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | June 5, 2014

The Ventura County Grand Jury has identified a lack of resources, proper training, and investment as the major culprits in a rocky EHR rollout at the county-run healthcare system, according to an official report.  The implementation of the Cerner system was stymied by poor leadership and preparedness, lackluster commitment to training, and insufficient purchasing of infrastructure hardware, which left staff members locked out of the system and put patients at risk of harm due to the confusion.

In an attempt to collect the full amount of incentives available through meaningful use, the Ventura County Healthcare Agency first put out a proposal to EHR vendors in May of 2009.  Cerner Corporation won the bid in October of 2011, intending to install its software in all county hospitals, clinics, and other facilities, but immediately found that the county had underestimated its technology and staffing needs for the project.  There was no centralized project manager to lead the implementation, the Grand Jury found, and the county failed to establish detailed benchmarks and goals to support the scale of the implementation...