Study: Up to 80 percent of EHR projects fail

Lest people overlook the often-painful reality that EHRs won't fix broken processes, along comes a report from across the pond that suggests a high rate of failure. "Depressingly, outside the world of the carefully-controlled trial, between 50 and 80 percent of electronic health record projects fail--and the larger the project, the more likely it is to fail," Trish Greenhalgh, lead author at University College of London's Department of Open Learning, says, according to Healthcare IT News.

A UCL team led by Greenhalgh published findings of a recent study in U.S. health policy journal Milbank Quarterly. The researchers also found that: EHRs can and do produce administrative and billing efficiencies; they often slow down clinical work; smaller or more localized EHRs tend to be more efficient and effective than larger implementations; and paper, in some instances, can offer more flexibility than current EHR technology allows for certain clinical processes.

"Our results provide no simple solutions to the problem of failed electronic patient records projects, nor do they support an anti-technology policy of returning to paper. Rather, they suggest it is time for researchers and policymakers to move beyond simplistic, technology-push models and consider how to capture the messiness and unpredictability of the real world," Greenhalgh says.

For more details about this study:
- read the full report in Milbank Quarterly
- check out this Healthcare IT News story

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