What should you expect when implementing an EHR system? What have others experienced?
Below are some common benefits and challenges we have heard from providers and hospitals. Also, read stories straight from Oregon providers telling their experience using EHRs.
How do EHRs increase the quality of care?
The use of EHRs can help improve quality and coordination of care for patients by providing immediate access to their complete and secure health record.
EHRs can also deliver more information to those who need it, while reducing "paperwork" time for providers. With EHRs widely adopted, doctors would be able to access their patient's private and up-to-date health record, avoiding repetitive tests, and reducing unnecessary administrative costs.
Are patients safer with EHRs?
EHRs can improve safety through their capacity to bring all of a patient's information together and automatically identify potential safety issues - providing "decision point" capability to assist clinicians.
One study found that at three New York City dialysis centers, patient mortality decreased by as much as 48 percent in the three years following implementation of EHRs.
Who can help train my staff?
To support the move to EHRs within the healthcare industry, workforce development programs have been put in place. Portland Community College has received $625,000 to partner over the next two years with Mt. Hood, Lane, Umpqua and Blue Mountain community colleges to train and place 300 health IT workers.
Who can we turn to when technical challenges arise?
Help is available! Technical support in Oregon is provided by O-HITEC. O-HITEC is charged with supporting and serving health care providers in adopting EHRs, assisting with implementation and giving technical assistance as needed. For more information, visit our EHR support page.
EHR systems cost money to buy, upgrade or implement.
To help offset the cost of getting an EHR up and running, your clinic or hospital can qualify for Medicaid EHR incentives. Click for Hospital Incentive information or Provider Incentive information.
Also, a recent survey conducted by Medical Group Management Association found that medical practices that implemented an EHR system, report better financial performance than those that have not.
Practices that were not hospital/IDS-owned and had an EHR reported $49,916 greater net revenue per physician. For Hospital/IDS-owned practices, the total was $42,042.
William F. Jessee, MD, FAACMPE, president and CEO of MGMA said, "The potential to improve financial performance should be an encouragement for many organizations to purchase and use an EHR."
What are Oregon providers saying about EHRs?