CIOs focused on gaining value from EHR investments

A majority of hospital IT executives are focused on gaining more value from their electronic health record investments during the next year, according to a survey of members of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) by the consultancy Impact Advisors.

More than 70 percent of respondents cited EHR optimization as a priority for the coming year, while only 8 percent said they were not focused on EHR optimization.

The survey defined optimization as "improvement to meet a defined set of objectives," which could take place before, during or after implementation. 

The 40 respondents expressed mild--but not overwhelming--satisfaction with the improvements their organizations have gained so far with their EHR investment.

Thirty-five percent of respondents said their EHR has helped the organization achieve productivity and efficiency goals, while 16 percent said the EHR has been a hindrance. The largest group, 41 percent, said it neither helped nor hindered those efforts.

The two top clinical optimization priorities were to improve the quality of care and to improve caregiver productivity. The most frequently cited revenue-cycle optimization priorities were to streamline key patient access functions and increase cash collections.

However, as of early August, physician practices were not yet seeing a payoff from their EHR system costs and likely won't for the first three years after adoption, according to an analysis from the American Action Forum, a nonprofit think tank.

In addition, despite double-digit growth in EHR use in the U.S. since 2012, the perceived benefits declined from 2012 to 2015, according to a survey by Accenture.

Switching systems had led to greater satisfaction, though, among large practices, Black Book Rankings reported recently.

To learn more:
- here's the survey report (.pdf)