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What does your EHR really cost?

  • Steven Shaha, Ph.D., DBA
  • 10/22/2015

Time and time again, we hear horror stories of electronic health record (EHR) systems that far exceed budgetary expectations of their healthcare organizations. Failure to estimate all of the expenses accurately has steep long-term effects on operating costs, as indicated in Steven R. Eastlaugh’s recent hfm® article*. It’s important to look at total cost of ownership – TCO – which goes well beyond the initial software, hardware and annual maintenance costs. For that reason, every well-managed healthcare organization purchases EHRs based on comparative TCO and then tracks the elements of TCO thereafter. Most often, executives do not fully account for long-term EHR expenses, such as ongoing cost of licenses, upgrade fees and staff dedicated to support. These cost factors vary widely by EHR vendor and solution. Using hospital data from HIMSS Analytics, the nonprofit research arm of the Healthcare Information […]

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3 EHR improvements nurses most want to see

  • Kerry D. Bruning, RN, BSN, MBA
  • 05/07/2015

HIMSS Analytics conducted a survey of nurses, uncovering what they like (and what they don’t like) about electronic health records (EHRs). One of the results shocked me: about 15% nurses wanted to go back to paper-based medical records, and another 15% said they weren’t sure if they’d go back or not. I flashed back to my experience as a pediatric oncology nurse on the night shift. For example, when a patient’s fluid intake and output didn’t match up, I had to figure out if it was a miscalculation. I could spend 90 minutes poring over a spreadsheet trying to find the math error. It got me thinking. Where are EHRs coming up short? What makes nurses want to return to paper? Based on the top three reasons indicated in survey results, I have a few theories: 1) Easier to find […]

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What nurses like most (and least) about today’s EHRs

  • Kerry D. Bruning, RN, BSN, MBA
  • 05/05/2015

In honor of International Nurses Day (May 12) and Nurses Week in the U.S. this week, Allscripts is highlighting the results of a recent HIMSS Analytics survey. We wanted to know: What do nurses really think of electronic health records (EHRs)? I’m encouraged that the results were generally positive. Remembering how difficult it was to use paper records as a pediatric oncology nurse, I wholeheartedly agree. Some of the highlights include: Nurses are generally positive about EHRs, and most agree: EHRs help improve patient safety and avoid medication errors (72%) Nurses would not consider going back to paper-based medical records (71%) Mixed results on how EHRs affect collaboration: EHRs help enable collaboration with other clinicians inside their organizations (73%) Only about half of nurses agree that EHRs enable collaboration with clinicians outside their organizations (49%) Nurses are less likely to agree […]

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Don’t settle for traditional outcomes

Over the past 30 years, we’ve seen upsurges in requirements for organizations to measure quality and continuous improvement. While these methods for sustaining continuous improvement are maturing, unfortunately many organizations remain satisfied with traditional outcomes. They settle and stop moving forward. Some lean on the proven traditional approaches to continuous improvement because they have to.  Their EHRs will not allow ad hoc accessibility to data, or development of locally interesting yet unique priorities and interests. Continuous improvement should be just that – continuous and focused on locally crucial improvement needs. When it is, everybody wins – organization, clinicians and patients. When it is neither continuous nor capable of local improvement, everyone loses (even though it may feel like winning). Leadership often encourages and celebrates better outcomes, when they should be aiming even higher. The quality of your outcomes depends on […]