Many hospitals, systems report financial downturns due to EHR implementations

The implementation of electronic health records systems (EHR) on a large scale has damaged the bottom lines of many major healthcare organizations. Among them, according to Becker's Hospital Review, are heavyweight hospitals and healthcare systems such as the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas and Partners HealthCare, the predominant provider network in Massachusetts.

Despite fairly generous federal incentives for installing EHRs and achieving various stages of meaningful use, undertaking such an initiative can often pose vexing financial challenges for providers.  

On the individual practice level, many physicians still feel that the cost of EHR implementation outweighs the benefits. Hospital officials sometimes have the same mixed feelings. A recent survey of hospital executives by Black Book Market Research found a vast majority at financially strapped facilities and systems regretted the outlay on such systems.

MD Anderson reported a $160.5 million decrease in adjusted income in the seven-month period ended March 31--a drop of 56.5 percent--due to the implementation of its new Epic EHR system, according to Becker's, 

Partners reported a $74.1 million drop in operating income for its most recent quarter, a situation it also attributes in part to EHR implementation woes, the article reported. Other hospitals and systems, such as Sutter Health in California, and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston also reported drops in income due to EHR issues.

To learn more:
- read the Becker's Hospital Review article