Posts Tagged ‘Electronic Health Record’

Hospital Gambling on EHR

August 4, 2009

I caught this story on the news and was surprised at first, but then on second thought I realized it’s not that surprising given the state of our rural hospitals in many areas.  I’m sure many hospitals might have to make tough decisions just like Sac-Osage Hospital in Missouri. 

A few details about Sac-Osage Hospital:

  • 47 bed hospital
  • Spending $1 million to move to an Electronic Health Record (EHR)
  • Operating on a $370,000 deficit
  • Hoping the Obama Stimulus Package will help make this change profitable in 2011
  • E.R. and ambulance services facing closure of services depending on whether or not local voters approve property tax

Sac-Osage has an average census of 5 inpatients per day, so obviously they will have difficulty raising revenuSac-Osage Hospitale to cover this large of an expense.  However, they are looking into the future, hoping that they will meet the criteria of “meaningful use” of the EHR as stated in the Obama stimulus package, and then receive some unknown amount of the stimulus money that will help offset the costs.

Some might say it is risky, but if they don’t do it now, they will not have enough time to prepare for the stimulus package and starting 2015, healthcare providers who haven’t made the switch may face financial penalties.  Whether Sac-Osage Hospital decided to take action or continue as is, the future of their facility is unforeseeable at this time.    

If you are interested in the full story, click here:;jsessionid=93CF354D45905A0D57914503C657E091?full=true&contentguid=LUV8siO4&detailindex=#display

What do you think about this?

If you were a small rural hospital in the same situation, would you bite the bullet and take the chance on an EHR in hopes it will be worth it in the end, or would you continue operating the same way and plan to make the change to an EHR later on down the road when/if you can afford it?

Please, feel free to share your thoughts!


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