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Unformatted text preview: issues. EHR systems can
help with both – and improve healthcare delivery – but
only if providers get the implementation right. That begs
the question, why should hospitals reinvent the wheel
when they can learn valuable lessons from counterparts
elsewhere that have already weathered enterprise system
adoption? Get the economics of EHR right
Over the past decade, the economics of IT have been
very restrictive. In today’s economic climate, most projects
(including IT) will not get approved if they cannot achieve an
ROI of 6–12 months or better.
In the US, the dangling of $20 billion in grants for
“meaningful adoption” of EHR systems as part of the
HITECH Act threatens to skew the equation. But even
with the prospects for grant money, care providers cannot
afford to ignore one core assumption: EHR projects must
succeed on their own merits. Hospitals cannot bank on this
money, as competition for awards will be fierce and grants
doled out only after care providers have implemented and
demonstrated “meaningful use” of EHR systems.
Healthcare institutions face similar economic and
competitive pressures as other sectors regarding margins
and regulatory compliance. Like other sectors, healthcare
providers are getting squeezed by the costs of labor
and equipment, while industry consolidation increases
competitive pressures. Like other regulated sectors ranging
from pharmaceuticals and life sciences to automotive, S TRAIGHTTALK I T 33 chemical, and resource extraction companies, healthcare
providers are facing mounting compliance burdens.
Admittedly, there are some industry-specific differences,
such as that the bulk of payments are made by third parties
not end customers, and that the pattern of regulation differs
in healthcare from sectors such as chemical manufacturing.
Nonetheless, the healthcare industry is no different from
other sectors in the need to deliver more with fewer
resources in an environment that is more competitive than
ever. People and process are essential to attaining
“meaningful use” of technology Getting the economics right means b...
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This document was uploaded on 12/31/2013.
- Fall '13