$100 Million Epic Install Dampens Lifespan Rhode Island Healthcare's Credit

Scott Silverstein | Health Care Renewal | June 22, 2014

Lifespan Rhode Island Healthcare System's Siemens EHR was apparently causing thousands of electronically-generated prescriptions to become scrambled, as I posted in Nov. 2011 here: http://hcrenewal.blogspot.com/2011/11/lifespan-rhode-island-yet-another.html. Due to this "glitch" - and other factors, I surmise - they switched to Epic. Here are the current results [see $100 Million Epic Install Dampens Lifespan Health System's Credit]...

They're a year from going "live" and they've already damaged their financials.  (This does not account for the losses from abandoning an older system.) $100 million is not an unusual cost for a commercial EHR, as I noted elsewhere, e.g., http://hcrenewal.blogspot.com/2006/10/70-million-for-electronic-medical.html.  An entire hospital or large hospital wing can be built with that much money...not to mention the hiring of quite a lot of human health information management professionals.

Hospital executives have bought the "EHRs will save massive amounts of money, eliminate medical errors, and heal the sick" marketing hype hook, line and sinker (as opposed to the more sober "improve healthcare somewhat when implemented expertly").  They are so eager to have this unregulated technology, NOW, that they will place their organizations - and patients - into jeopardy to get it. (As to patient risk, see http://hcrenewal.blogspot.com/2014/04/fda-on-health-it-risk-reckless-or.html and its hyperlinks).

I find this phenomenon stunning, and even more so the cognitive dissonance and refusal to believe the actual evidence when the starry-eyed predictions of Cybernetic Medical Nirvana just don't come true...


Open Source Alternatives

Another instance where using a free and open source solution, like VistA, might have been the better solution. Over 2000 health care facilities at the federal, state, and local level across the U.S. are now satisfied VistA customers/users.