A KLAS report, entitled "Acute Care EMR 2014: The Next Buying Wave," found that of hospitals with 200 or more beds, 50 percent intend to switch to new electronic medical records vendors by 2016.
KLAS interviewed 277 hospitals in the United States in order to compile data such as which vendors were being considered and the prospective timelines for purchase. According to the report, 22 percent of hospitals with the intention to change vendors have yet to select one. New document storage solutions have become essential in an environment that is most effective in real time and has no room for error.
"Where the last round of EMR purchases was fueled by meaningful use requirements and enticing reimbursements, this next round is being fueled by concerns about outdated technology and health system consolidation," said report author Colin Buckley. "This shift in focus will play a major factor in which EMRs are being considered."
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included stipulations that allowed for incentives for hospitals that adopt, upgrade and demonstrate meaningful use of EMRs. According to Becker's Healthcare, health centers rushed to purchase EMRs in order to qualify for the benefits that followed. These content management services are now outdated. According to InformationWeek, many hospitals, and even small clinics, intend to make a switch to cloud-based solutions in order to reduce IT costs while increasing efficiency and flexibility.
As the health care sector seeks to upgrade document management software, industry reforms have been the driving force behind an increase in hospital mergers and acquisitions. This has led to a need to match EMRs in order to streamline operations within two or more recently consolidated health centers. The 98 hospital and health system transactions in 2013 represent a 51 percent surge since 2010, and 3 percent increase over 2012, according to Becker's Healthcare.
As hospitals seek to upgrade their EMRs, they may also begin receiving recognition from HIMSS Analytics, who annually ranks the progress of hospitals moving toward paperless operations. Corporate America has discussed the idea of a paperless office for decades, and hospitals have joined the race for environmental protection and prestige. HIMSS ranks hospitals from stage zero to stage seven, with stage seven meaning the hospital has become totally electronic. Requirements for stage seven honors include a set document storage solution and EMR continuity between all sections of the health center.
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