Early adopters of EHR systems starting to reap major benefits

Fred O'Conner | ARN/IDG News | April 2, 2013

Electronic health record (EHR) adoption has been fastest at larger, more technology-savvy medical organizations, while smaller practitioners -- which make up the bulk of U.S. clinicians -- have been slow on the health-IT uptake for a variety of reasons, chief among them the cost, but also the training time and effort needed to make the move from paper.

"The government is pushing [EHR use] along and it's becoming a standard of care," said Tom Handler, research director of Gartner's health-care provider analyst group and a former physician. "At some point in the near future, not heading down the path of an EHR [system] will not serve an organization well."

Vendors lack a financial incentive to add this functionality to their EHRs since they're already making profits on applications without these abilities. Adding data analysis functions means creating systems with greater interoperability and that threatens vendor revenue since it makes moving to another EHR system easier... 

Open Health News' Take: 

Most healthcare providers are still familiarizing themselves with electronic health record (EHR) system capabilities. Only a few large organizations that adopted EHR systems over this past decade are now delving into data projects that could generate major tangible benefits. As this excellent article points out, at this stage most vendors still lack a financial incentive to add this key 'data analysis' functionality into their EHR systems. Expect this to change over this coming decade. Vendors who don't add this capability won't be around a few years down the road.   -  Peter Groen, Senior Editor, OHNews