Essential Guide

CHIME CIO perspectives, advice on health IT issues

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Critical access hospital gets new EHR to meet meaningful use stage 2

A Colorado critical access hospital upgraded their EHR. Managing costs for meaningful use stage 2 will now be easier, their IT director says.

Editor's note: This podcast and a companion interview with Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center VP and CIO Shafiq Rab, M.D. respond to results of the SearchHealthIT.com/College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) 2014 Health IT Purchasing Intentions Survey. Download your copy here.

The bad news is, Michael Archuleta, director of IT and PACS administrator for Mt. San Rafael Hospital in Trinidad, Colorado, had his hands full with an EHR rip-and-replace in preparation for meaningful use stage 2 earlier this year.

Michael Archuleta Michael Archuleta

The good news? The critical access hospital is just starting stage 1 now, one of the later entrants into the program. That way, he said, the hospital can continue smoothing the edges in its workflow implementation of its new EHR, which replaced a legacy system the vendor was not going to certify for meaningful use, while early adopters of stage 2 blaze trails and create best practices for his facility to use when it reaches that milestone.

In this podcast, Archuleta discusses the process and cost of a small hospital implementing meaningful use, and especially a remote critical access hospital. His story reflects optimism about technologies to improve care, while acknowledging the challenges that come for him and his peers far removed from the resources afforded similar facilities in urban settings.

Other examples of EHR replacements

  • Marc Probst, vice president and CIO of Intermountain Healthcare, discusses how installing a new EHR system changed his organization's plans for meeting the stage 2 compliance deadline. He explains that patient safety and other health IT regulations took precedence over meaningful use incentives.
  • A survey measured providers' dissatisfaction with their EHR system. It revealed that system upgrades and other hidden costs have driven some to the point of dumping their old EHR and starting anew.
  • Will the advanced capabilities of the next generation of EHRs convince providers to adopt a new system? Read to find out what's driving EHR innovation and what the products of tomorrow might be able to do.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Don Fluckinger, news director, or contact @DonFluckinger on Twitter.

This was first published in May 2014

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