HIMSS: 88 percent of hospitals using advanced EHRs report 'at least one positive outcome'

Hospitals using advanced electronic health records are deriving value from their systems, according to a new survey from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

The survey focused only on hospitals that have achieved Stage 6 or 7 on HIMSS' electronic medical record adoption model (EMRAM) scale or Davies Award winning hospitals. Of 52 senior IT executive respondents, HIMSS found that 88 percent identified at least one positive outcome of EHRs. Eighty-three percent said that the EHR provided increased efficiencies in clinical staff quality performance, and 52 percent reported increased clinical staff productivity.

The top areas of efficiencies were in the elimination of duplicate testing and access to patient information. More than four-fifths (81 percent) reported a positive impact of savings, with the most savings occurring in coding accuracy, days in accounts receivable and transcription costs.

More than two-thirds of the respondents (69 percent) said that their hospital had implemented a formal patient engagement strategy; 61 percent reported that patients were using a portal, while 50 percent were distributing education material to patients. 

The biggest barrier to deriving value from their EHRs was "competing priorities."  

"This survey evaluates the progress the healthcare industry has made in deriving value from their health IT investments" Pat Wise, vice president of HIMSS, said in a statement. "The findings illustrate that although many challenges still exist, measuring the impact of the EHR on treatment and clinical areas is happening amongst healthcare innovators. This survey demonstrates that health IT is creating a positive shift within healthcare organizations, one that's deriving quality care and improved outcomes."

The picture wasn't completely rosy; less than half of respondents (44 percent) reported that nurses were satisfied with EHRs, and only 29 percent said that the physicians were satisfied.

Those statistics mirror other studies regarding EHRs. For instance, HIMSS found in a survey of nurses that while EHRs improved safety and nurses' access to patient information, they weren't completely happy with them since the systems were inefficient and hurt collaboration with outside providers. Many doctors now use EHRs, but their satisfaction of the tools has been mixed.

To learn more:
- read the executive summary (.pdf)
- here's the announcement