News Feature | March 28, 2014

Rush To Digitize: Common Healthcare Mistake

Rebecca McCurry

By Rebecca McCurry

Mistake To Rush EHRs

Most healthcare IT leaders feel rushed to implement a successful EHR system

These days, healthcare providers are feeling the pressure to digitize their records, achieve MU, and get ready for ICD-10. This has most leaders feeling overwhelmed, causing them to rush through the process of implementing an EHR for their company - focusing on the technology only, rather than the bigger picture. VP and CIO of Hackensack N.J. University Medical Center, Dr. Shafiq Rab, talked about this scenario in an article on CIO.

"Healthcare should have digitized long ago, but the need for revenue trumped the need for innovation. Without funding from the MU incentive program, only the most advanced healthcare systems would have EHR systems today,” said Rab. “As EHR adoption has risen, today, 80 percent of eligible hospitals and 50 percent of eligible providers participate in MU, so, too, has the realization that, it's time to get wisdom out of the EHR."

Rab, a member of the Becker's 100 Hospital and Health System CIOs to Know, further explained, "Healthcare's rush to digitize revealed a startling truth, most doctors can't type, so seeing a patient often becomes a long process wrought with hunt-and-peck notion. Additional challenges emerged - namely, security and passwords, which were shared, posted publicly, or simply kept at the factory default."

According to Iron Mountain, healthcare providers should not rush to digitize their records, instead, they should, "Embrace the technology in the proper manner. For the most part, that means relying on both paper and digitized records at least for the time being." Also added, "Medical records management is extremely important for healthcare providers for a number of reasons, including data protection and compliance management considerations. Under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, organizations must ensure that personally identifiable information is both stored and secured properly."

An analyst from the AC Group explains, "As is often the case, technology is advancing more rapidly than our ability to identify and address mediocolegal issues, the result of this uneven progression is that physicians and other stakeholders may be unknowingly explored to medical liability risk."