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Healthcare executives, nurses share different EHR replacement results

This blog post is part of our Essential Guide: EHR interoperability, regulations top patient record concerns

When it comes to EHRs and whether they helped or harm the quality and delivery of care, healthcare professionals are divided.

The majority of hospitals leaders — some of whom had input into replacing their organization’s EHR — think their choice to replace their EHR did not have a negative result on patient care. In fact, only 5% of hospital leaders thought that swapping out their old EHR for a new system caused a dip in care quality, according to a Black Book Market Research survey of healthcare executives and IT staff.

“Most executives will not admit they were oversold or that their IT decisions had adverse bearing on patient care,” said Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book Market Research LLC, in a release.

On the other hand, 96% of nurses said they weren’t included in the EHR replacement planning process and 90% of them reported the changes that resulted from transitioning to a new EHR reduced their ability to effectively administer care.

The rest of the survey results seem to indicate less satisfaction with moves to a new EHR. Specifically, nearly two-thirds of non-managerial IT staff believe that using a new EHR directly caused a decline in healthcare delivery.

However, the consequences of an EHR replacement extend beyond clinical care into the financial realm. Among hospitals that were struggling financially before opting for a new EHR, 87% said they now regret their decision to do so. According to Doug Brown’s comments in the Black Book release, budgetary issues shouldn’t have been unexpected. He said, “No other industry spends so much per unit of IT on the part of the business that is shrinking the fastest and holds little growth as did inpatient revenues.”

While executives were hesitant to criticize their organizations’ decisions to pick a new EHR, their answers to one of the Black Book survey questions seemingly revealed they felt pressure to oversee a calm implementation process. Slightly less than two-thirds (63%) of executives thought that they, or their peers, were in danger of losing their jobs during their EHR conversions. Also, nearly 20% of respondents stated that EHR installation delays, budget miscalculations and other resource shortages resulted in temporary and permanent layoffs at their facilities.

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