Article | December 18, 2012

Healthcare Providers Still Face Challenges With EHR Adoption Requirements

Less than half of providers confident in EHR readiness, according to recent survey

Technology in the healthcare industry is constantly growing and changing, and one of the biggest recent developments is the required adoption of electronic health records, or EHR. The conversion from paper charts to coded digital files has been a massive undertaking for many healthcare providers, and is still proving to be a challenge for many. A recent survey conducted by KPMG and published in Healthcare IT News indicated that only 48% of surveyed providers are "confident" in their organization's readiness to meet Medicare and Medicaid's Stage 1 EHR meaningful use requirements per the HITECH Act of 2009.

Meaningful EHR use, according to the requirements, consist of a variety of factors including 15 mandatory objectives healthcare providers must achieve under the program. These include insuring adequate privacy and security for patients' personal health information; improving quality, safety, efficiency, and reducing health disparities; engaging patients and their families in their care; and improving overall care coordination. Thirty-nine percent of survey respondents are only "somewhat comfortable" in their capacity to achieve these goals.

Since more than 71% of respondents indicated that they are more than halfway through the implementation process of converting to EHRs, the biggest challenge for providers is actually understanding the EHR requirements and effectively demonstrating meaningful use across their organizations. Training and change management programs will also be a major component in healthcare providers successfully making the switch to EHR.

Healthcare technology VARs can provide dramatic support to their customers through efficient deployment of solutions to meet a wide array of needs in the vertical. Bar code readers can be used to quickly gather and update patient data in EHRs, while handheld scanners and area imagers can greatly speed the data input process. Mobile wireless handheld computers can be utilized to remotely access patient records and monitor vital signs from anywhere in the building. Desktop label printers will help ensure prescription legibility and prevent medication errors, while wristband printers ensure correct patient identification diagnosis.

A holistic approach to Electronic Health Records is key to ensure continuous workflow and prevent time delays in the healthcare industry. The right set of healthcare solutions can make all the difference in your  customers' ability to provide quality care within the ever-changing framework of Medicare and Medicaid requirements. Contact a BlueStar representative today to learn how you can help your healthcare clients achieve positive outcomes with advanced technology solutions.