Survey Report: Are Hospitals Ready for Meaningful Use of EHRs?
The HITECH Act has set aside $36 billion in Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments to physicians in ambulatory practices and hospitals for the meaningful use of certified Electronic Health Record systems (EHRs). The incentive payments are substantial; a typical 275-bed hospital could receive about $6 million in incentive payments if they meet the eligibility criteria starting in 2011. (It is also important to note that after 2015, hospitals face substantial penalties for not using EHRs in a meaningful way.)
The Global Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices is the applied research arm of CSC’s Healthcare Group.
CSC asked executives at 58 hospitals across the United States a series of 50 questions designed to evaluate their readiness to meet the criteria for receiving incentives. We found that most hospitals are only about half-way toward meeting the requirements of meaningful use, and only one quarter meet at least 70 percent of the readiness indicators. Overall, readiness is highest in the areas of privacy and security protection and lowest in use of the specific EHR capabilities needed. This paper shares the results of our survey.