A new study published in Medical News Today concludes that UK hospitals aren’t always taking into account the full costs of implementing new EMRs, and as a result, are not receiving the full benefits of these systems.
The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, evaluated the implementation of three EMRs — iSOFT’s Lorenzo Regional Care, Cerner’s Millenium and CSE’s RIO — across 12 diverse healthcare organizations in three regions of the UK and at different stages of implementing the systems.
Researchers also conducted 41 semi structured interviews with 36 hospital staff, members of the respective implementation teams, and those spearheading the implementation at a national level.
The research team found four overarching cost categories associated with implementing EMR system: infrastructure, personnel, facilities and other (such as training materials).
As might be expected, the hospitals involved spent their EMR budget in significantly different ways. For example some hospitals spend big on testing the software, while others spent large sums training clinicians and administrative staff to use the new system.
The hospitals also made significantly different decisions when it came to hiring new staff to cover for those who were in training. One hospital spent over $1.1 million to provide covering staff, while another spent no money at all to cover from for staff and training.
When all was said and done, hospitals were most likely to cut back on training and implementation costs. Meanwhile, hospitals were also likely to under budget for factors such as the need to back fill staff to the lost productivity, and the need to test the system due to inadequate vendor testing.