Survey: More than 40% of hospital execs unhappy with their EHRs

There's no getting around it: Despite the increase in electronic health record adoption, many hospitals are not happy with their systems, according to a new report from Premier, Inc.

The report, Healthcare Trends from the C-suite, surveyed 127 healthcare leaders representing 112 hospitals across the country. It found that spending on clinical health IT is predicted to reach $26.1 billion a year by 2017, encompassing between 25 percent and 35 percent of a hospital's capital budget. 

Nearly half of the respondents said they plan to make their largest capital investment in the next year in health IT, including EHRs. This category was the most often cited for the second consecutive year.

However, this increase in investment does not mean that hospitals are happy with their EHR systems. More than 40 percent of respondents were either dissatisfied with or indifferent about their current systems. Executives from small and rural hospitals cited their unhappiness most often.

Hospitals are under increased pressure to meet Meaningful Use requirements and related additional burdens pertaining to their EHRs. There have been many accounts of physicians being unhappy with EHR systems; it is not surprising, then, that so many hospitals also are not wild about them.

"What we are hearing increasingly from healthcare leaders is dissatisfaction with their existing EHR systems, often citing cost and difficulty of use," Michael Alkire, chief operating officer of Premier, said in an announcement. "Providers need a solution that integrates clinical, financial and operational data across their hospitals and health systems; the majority of EHR systems cannot do that."

The report also found that healthcare legislation/mandates was the second biggest driver of health care costs, eclipsed only by labor costs.

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