Healthcare News & Insights

Survey details the costs of an EHR implementation

When planning to implement an EHR system, organizations likely put a lot of thought into the cost of the system itself. But it’s also critical to plan for all of the extra costs associated with the installation. 

Those costs can be significant, and if they’re unexpected, they can derail EHR projects when organizations find they no longer have the proper amount budgeted.

Beyond the costs of the system, healthcare providers spend an average of $3,121 on additional expenses related to an EHR implementation, according to a study conducted by Medical Economics. The study looked at 27 physician practices implementing EHR systems over a two-year period.

Those extra costs include items such as computing and connectivity equipment, set-up, and technical support. Though that figure was the average cost reported, the practices studied varied widely in terms of how much they spent. In fact, one had even spent $12,000, while others were below $1,000.

Much of that money was spent on investigating different systems and preparing IT systems to handle EHRs. While it may be tempting for organizations to cut costs by spending less on that pre-planning, experts warn that’s a bad idea. Another recent study found that many providers aren’t getting the most out of their health IT investments because they aren’t making necessary upgrades to their IT infrastructures.

And it’s important to conduct enough research before choosing an EHR system. While implementing a system is expensive, it’s even more expensive if an organization has to undergo a second implementation because it chose the wrong system the first time around.

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