More on monetary losses and layoffs from EHR expenses and EHR mismanagement:

1.  Layoffs to balance the budget...

... Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center [Winston-Salem, NC] said in November 2012, that it would cut 950 jobs — 6 percent of its total staff.

Electronic records programs continue to push costs higher. The Winston-Salem Journal reported that Wake Forest’s Epic [EHR] program caused $8 million in work interruptions during the 2012-2013 year alone. Wake Forest is cutting costs at least through June 30 to make up for some of Epic’s expense. Its efforts include furloughs, wage reductions and other cuts.

2.  Cerner EHR Project Loses U.K. Hospital 18 Million Pounds

... Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust's implementation of Cerner Millennium electronic health record system is costly to maintain and hard to use, causing patient backlogs ... British hospital's attempt to implement an electronic health record (EHR) system has been so disastrous that it has had to write off £18 million ($28 million).

... "Unfortunately, implementing the [EHR] system has at times been a difficult process and we acknowledge that we did not fully appreciate the challenges and resources required in a number of areas," said the hospital's chief executive, Ed Donald. 

In 2013, I find the statement "we did not fully appreciate the challenges and resources required in a number of areas" remarkable.

Dear Mr. Donald, please allow me to introduce you to a novel concept:

A Google search.  (Free, no less.)

Try this, for example:

(I note that competent experts in my field, Medical Informatics, given appropriate executive presence - including hiring and firing authority, instead of the usual 'internal consultant' roles - could have prevented your organization's mistakes, and for a mere fraction of the £18 million.)

A campaign against public sector waste in Britain, The Taxpayer's Alliance, has seized on the hobbled project as an especially egregious example of bad procurement. "[NHS] trusts must work a lot harder to get a good deal for the taxpayers footing the bill," it warned.  [I guess money doesn't grow on trees in the UK as it seems to in the US -ed.]

The row comes in the same week British Parliament members expressed frustration that the funding scheme that supported other British hospitals' investment in EHRs, the controversial £9.8 billion ($15.2 billion) National Program for IT cancelled in 2011, continues to cost the country millions, with contracts in some cases not set to expire for 12 more years. [NPfIT in the NHS - see query link - ed.]

Berkshire, however, opted out of that program in 2008 and had instead linked with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to help it implement Millennium.

I am merely the messenger here...

-- SS

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