Report: Hospitals' EHRs Fall Short in Implementing Pneumonia, Heart Failure Best Practices

Hospitals' electronic health records barely earn a passing grade for implementing clinical best practices in treating heart failure and pneumonia, according to an audit by Zynx Health in Los Angeles, a clinical decision support content provider.

Data for the audit was collected from 79 hospitals. The report focuses on heart failure and pneumonia because there is high incidence of the diseases, and they are among the conditions CMS will no longer reimburse hospitals for when patients are readmitted within 30 days of a previous discharge.

Key findings from the report include:

•    The brand of EHR does not matter. Problems catching clinical errors is a function of the EHR user and a hospital's EHR optimization practices, or lack thereof;
•    Only 62 percent of hospitals' EHRs included clinical processes that have been proven to reduce congestive heart failure mortality, hospital readmissions and overall costs.
•    Only 67 percent of hospitals' EHRs included clinical processes for treating pneumonia;
•    No hospital averaged better than 74 percent on heart failure and 73 percent on pneumonia for clinical processes in EHRs.

Zynx did find success among some hospital EHRs. For example, Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System's EHR caught 6,513 possibly fatal errors and other clinical flaws in one year. The system then saved $1.4 million by adopting clinical processes in the same timeframe, according to the report.

More Articles on Electronic Health Records:

How do Physicians Feel About Their EMRs? 18 Statistics
6 Best Practices for Implementing EMR, CPOE for Meaningful Use
Hospitals Ineligible for Federal Meaningful-Use Have Low Rates of EHR Adoption

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