Washington hospital abandons Meditech EHR project due to escalating costs

Coulee Medical Center in Grand Coulee, Wash., pulled the plug on a Meditech EHR conversion
after unexpected costs made the project financially unsustainable, reports The Star.

Coulee Medical Center began converting its existing EHR to Meditech's platform in 2014. Hospital officials initially projected the project to cost $1.3 million, but unanticipated ancillary costs associated with the conversion caused the hospital to overshoot its budget.

Particular provisions baked into Coulee Medical Center's contract with Meditech required the hospital to purchase software add-ons to continue the conversion. Those costs were not included in the hospital's initial budget.

Hospital CEO Jonathan Smith said the process of buying and implementing Meditech's EHR software was like buying "a car without an engine, brakes or exhaust," according to the article.

So far Coulee Medical Center spent $1.7 million on the conversion. Hospital officials estimated it could cost up to $4 million to complete the project, according to the article. Administrators decided to quit funding the conversion Nov. 2.

"A hospital this size just can't incur those types of costs," Mr. Smith told The Star.

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