Health Leaders’ Opinions on Electronic Health Records (EHR) Amidst Health Reform

By Megan Kovel
Analyst, Sage Growth Partners

As 2011 begins and the new healthcare legislation moves into full swing, many are beginning to make necessary technological advancements to their provider organizations to become compliant with the HITECH Act of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Deciding on what Electronic Health Record (EHR) to purchase and implement is daunting, especially with the numerous choices which need to be made on hardware, software, and support services. EHR implementations force providers to embrace change, as the core workflow practitioners have grown accustomed to will need to be changed to drive efficiency and process improvement.

In a recent survey, HealthLeaders Media examined what the new legislation means to healthcare leaders from senior to clinical level positions in organizations such as hospitals, health systems, and physician organizations. The survey results demonstrate the positive impact that EHRs can have in enhancing the delivery system; however, there are still kinks to be worked out. The bottom line is to recognize the EHR movement is inevitable and to make sure any investment of time and money will result in a positive outcome. The survey notes the following:

  • 46% feel lack of financing or resources will prove to be the biggest challenge to implementation
  • 91% expect their organization to reach Meaningful Use by 2016
  • 67% are participating or plan to participate in a Health Information Exchange (HIE)
  • 54% of those with a hospital-based EHR are satisfied with the current overall functionality/60% of those with clinic- or physician-based EHR are satisfied
  • 45% do not know if their EHR is certified by an approved ONC body
  • 14% do not have an EHS implemented that is certified by an approved ONC body

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