Health Organizations Favor Electronic Health Records

Published Online: Tuesday, February 1, 2005

In addition to reducing medical errors and lowering administrative and medical costs, experts at major health organizations believe that electronic health records (EHRs) will have a positive financial effect on their organizations over time, according to a recent survey conducted by Capgemini. The respondents included executives at 84 hospitals, health insurers, physicians, health technology vendors, and representatives of other types of health organizations.

"The fact that many health care organizations are beginning to seriously discuss EHR implementation and develop their own financial analysis of adopting clinical information technology is very encouraging,"said Lewis Redd, national leader for Capgemini's health practice. "We find it particularly interesting that nearly a third of the respondents think their organizations are actually in the process of implementing EHRs."

Despite enthusiasm and support of EHRs, there are significant barriers to adoption. For example, capital costs were cited by a majority of the respondents (58%) as the greatest obstacle. Another hurdle was physician resistance to adoption and lack of office technology, cited by 46% of the participants. Other causes for concern from the respondents included:

?The need for clear technology standards before implementation work begins (30%)

?The potential increase in the workload of their already busy information technology staff (17%)

The respondents also voiced their recommendations on steps the government needs to take immediately in order to achieve the adoption of EHRs in the next 10 years. Specific suggestions for the government included developing uniform technology standards, educating physicians and the public about the benefits of EHRs in reducing medical errors and costs, and mandating compliance.

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