Some hospitals worry about meeting EHR standards
A recent poll by KPMG found that while most hospitals have successfully completed migrating to electronic health records, they still have doubts about meeting EHR standards. According to Healthcare IT News, the poll revealed that only 48 percent of hospital business leaders are sure of their organization's ability to meet Stage 1 meaningful use requirements, but more70 percent are halfway through completing EHR adoption.
"The results show that organizations are moving forward, but it’s interesting that many are not more confident with their level of readiness, especially when considering anticipated Stage 2 requirements," Brad Benton, partner and national account leader for KPMG Healthcare, told the news source. "Achievement of meaningful use is a major organization-wide transformational initiative, and associated challenges must be effectively managed from the beginning or organizations may face serious project risk issues down the line."
The challenges associated with Stage 1 requirements include insufficient training and management, difficulty capturing relevant data, lack of a dedicated meaningful use team and not having the appropriately certified technology. The leading cause of the lack of confidence, as cited by 25 percent of respondents to the poll, was simply not fully understanding what the requirements for Stage 1 are, according to the news source.
Mike Beaty, principal and KPMG Healthcare IT enablement leader, told the news source it does not help that the requirements are still under development. However, he suggests that a healthcare facility not focus on the technological development, but rather redesign clinical workflow and care delivery in order to achieve compliance.
"If the providers don’t redesign their workflows, or processes, prior to the implementation of the EHR system, they run the risk of bogging down a very expensive tool with bad processes that won’t yield the benefits the system should provide in the best case, and never achieve meaningful use thresholds in the worst case," Joe Kuehn, partner and KPMG Healthcare financial management leader, agreed.
Another option that some hospitals can take advantage of is utilizing the services of health records software and other professional services that can help relieve the pressure of meeting compliance regulations. These solutions can simplify EHR adoption, and potentially improve the service more than the hospital every could on its own as well. It is important to meet medical care mandates, and seeking assistance to do so can ultimately save on time, manpower and frustration.