Most HIMSS Stage 4 hospitals fail to realize EMR benefits years after designation, report finds

Most U.S. hospitals that reach Stage 4 on HIMSS Analytics' EMR Adoption Model do not experience EMR benefits they anticipated, even five years post-certification, according to a Chartis Group report.

The eight-stage EMR adoption model, which was developed by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society subsidiary HIMSS Analytics, runs from Stage 0 to 7 and measures the degree to which a hospital uses its EMR functions. Hospitals receive scores based on standards including digital imaging, interoperability and data security.

Some of the most commonly reported EMR benefits include reduced drug use and costs, increased billings related to charge capture and coding, reduced hospital lengths of stay, accelerated cash collections and improved preventive care, according to the report.

The Chartis Group, a healthcare consulting company, analyzed cases of hundreds of hospitals and health systems to identify best practices that allow providers to realize benefits from EMR initiatives.

Four practices of successful healthcare organizations to attain EMR benefits, according to Chartis Group:

1. Commit to a "short list" of benefits. Key stakeholders must define specific strategic outcomes as the primary purpose for the EMR purchase, implementation or optimization effort.

2. Clearly define benefit processes. Organizations should define detailed and specific benefit requirements to follow when designing and developing an EMR. Make sure to detail the functionality and process changes that lead to benefits.

3. Identify benefits team, leaders. Organizations should assemble a team of individuals focused on benefits realization one to three years post EMR go-live.

4. Implement a benefits measurement system. A system that uses performance metrics to measure EMR benefits before and after go-live will help the organization when it later reviews system functionality improvements.

To access the full report, click here.

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