Challenges faced by EHR Vendors


Uphill road for EHR Vendors

 

The prominence of using an Electronic Health Records (EHR) system came into existence when CMS (Centre for Medicare and Medicaid Services) proposed the Meaningful Use program in 2010. The idea behind implementing the Meaningful Use concept was to improve quality, safety, efficiency, maintain the privacy and security of health information and to offer improved patient care. However, in spite of the government supporting the Meaningful Use Incentives program through financial incentives, indicators in the healthcare scene suggest that this move has created an artificial demand for the use of EHR. It is reported that 40 percent of healthcare providers say that they wouldn't recommend their EHR to a colleague and more than 30 percent say that they are buying a new EHR system to replace existing software. What’s the grouse against EHRs anyway?

EHRs are not easily usable and their workflows are complicated

Due to Meaningful Use and incentives, most organizations just want to set up and EHR and start using it. They are not keen on analysing the workflow of using the EHR and end up implementing multiple workarounds for simple ways. In short, the best practices are not followed. Proper workflow is a key to the success of the EHR.

But why does this happen? Part of the problem, says Dr. Heather Haugen, managing director of The Breakaway Group within Xerox, is that there's a difference between EHR implementation and EHR adoption. Given the short EHR incentive timeline and the reduced payment of incentives if the timeline is not met, corners have been cut on the healthcare providers.

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EHR Implementation gone wrong

The challenges can also be related to the EHR vendors for not implementing the EHR that can satisfy the needs of the doctors. Studies on EHR implementation reveal that 50% of the EHR implementations fail. This can be attributed to either a total failure or when the EHR did not fully meet the health provider’s expectations. The following are the causes for EHR implementation challenges:

  • No proper implementation plan/team exists in the organization
  • There is less training offered to the doctors and staff using the application
  • No plans for upgrading the application on a regular basis

Therefore, wrong EHR implementations ultimately show its impact on Meaningful Use 2 criteria for doctors where it is not just basic functionality, but even more like sharing the patient electronic records with laboratories, other hospitals, pharmacies, and even with patients.

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Meaningful Use Stage 2 is Complex!

Even though Meaningful Use Stage 1 was a breeze for most EHR vendors and healthcare providers, Meaningful Use 2 is now proving to be a big hurdle to navigate. Most of the EHR vendors who are Stage 1 certified are struggling to cope with the requirements of Meaningful Use 2. According to CIO, only 13 percent of the physicians have an EHR that meets the Meaningful Use Stage 2 criteria. The reason behind this complexity is that there are many more Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs) to track and in addition they must demonstrate the interoperability of their EHRs with another EHR developed by a different vendor and allow patients the ability to view, download, and transmit their health information.

Multiple reports quote the physician’s dissatisfaction on the existing EHRs. According to a survey by a leading cloud EHR vendor, “more than half of the physicians think their EHR costs overweigh the benefits.” RAND report states that “for most physicians, the current state of EHR technology significantly worsens the professional satisfaction levels”.

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How to mitigate these challenges

When faced with an unsurmountable challenge, taking outside help creates wonders. This outside help should ideally be a Health IT organization with significant exposure to a wide-variety of EHR software, possess domain and technical expertise and possess the ability to scale up in a jiffy.

ViSolve provides comprehensive assistance in updating your EHR with enhancements demanded by your customers. We optimize and fine-tune your EHR in terms of usability, efficiency, and design. We take care of the design of your EHR workflow in an intuitive manner that will enable the provider to use the system with very minimal learning curve. In short, we transform your system to deliver better results and user experience than causing endless frustration that might result in providers switching to a different EHR. In addition, we ensure your EHR conforms to the Meaningful Use functionality and adheres to the Meaningful Use 2 requirements.

Check out our recent success story on ONC-ATCB Certification for an EHR vendor: http://www.visolve.com/articles/visolve-meaningful-use-capabilities-proven.php

We would love to talk to you and understand more on your EHR and bring it to speed. Drop us an e-mail at services@visolve.com or ring us at +1-(408)-850-2243. Check out our Meaningful Use Consulting process at http://www.visolve.com/solutions-services/healthcare_services/meaningful-use-consulting-process.php.

 
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