Survey: Most community hospitals transitioning to EHRs

Ninety-two percent of community hospitals have purchased and are operating electronic health records, according to a new survey by Community Hospital 100 and Anthelio Health.

A "surprising" 23 percent of community hospitals--those with 300 beds or less--have already fully implemented EHR systems, the survey found. Additionally, 69 percent of such facilities have acquired and started implementation of an EHR system. Eight percent had not yet acquired an EHR system, or had no plans to do so.    

The survey also examined costs, determining that 77 percent of community hospitals paid $3 million or more for their systems. Roughly 39 percent spent more than $8 million on a system, while 19 percent spent between $5 million and $7.9 million. Another 19 percent spent between $3 million and $4.9 million for their products.

Expectations on recouping those expenses via Meaningful Use incentives varied significantly. Forty-three percent of respondents expect to get back at least 50 percent of the cost of their systems, but almost one-fourth, 24 percent, expected to recover less than 25 percent of their costs. Evidently earning the bonus was a bit of a worry, as well; improving performance on core measures was one of the top four important quality improvement initiatives noted; patient satisfaction was the most important. 

The hospitals did report a "strong interest" in health information exchanges (HIEs). Forty-three percent said they already were participating in an HIE; another 28 percent said that they're not currently participating, but would like to. Twenty-nine percent of community hospitals surveyed were not interested in health information exchange.

To learn more:
- check out the survey (.pdf)
- read the related announcement (.pdf)
- read this HealthImaging article