’Meaningful Use’ Requirements Seen as Compliance Challenge, Despite High Hospital EHR Adoption Rates, Says KPMG Poll

NEW YORK, April 24 – While a majority of business administrators at hospitals and health systems say they are well along in completing electronic health record (EHR) system adoption, many are expressing various levels of doubt about their ability to meet new EHR standards, according to the results of a poll conducted by KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory services firm.

Forty-eight percent of hospital and health system business leaders who participated in a KPMG poll last month said they were confident in their organization’s level of readiness to meet Stage 1 meaningful use requirements. Thirty-nine percent said they were somewhat confident, three percent said they were not confident at all, and 10 percent didn’t know what their level of readiness was.

At the same time, the survey also found that the majority (71 percent) of the hospital and health system business leaders said they are more than 50 percent of the way to completing EHR system adoption.
“The results show that organizations are moving forward but it’s interesting that many are not more confident with their level of readiness, especially when considering anticipated Stage 2 requirements,” said Brad Benton, partner and national account leader for KPMG Healthcare.  “Achievement of meaningful use is a major organization-wide transformational initiative, and associated challenges must be effectively managed from the beginning or organizations may face serious project risk issues down the line.”
Among the challenges organizations have had in meeting Stage 1 meaningful use requirements, simply understanding the requirements involved in demonstrating meaningful use was cited by the hospital and health system respondents as the biggest (25 percent). This was followed by training and change management efforts (20 percent); capturing the relevant data electronically as part of clinical workflows (18 percent); lack of a dedicated meaningful use team (12 percent) and not having the appropriate certified technology (6 percent).
“Adding to the challenge is the continuing development of the regulations themselves,” said Mike Beaty, principal and KPMG Healthcare IT enablement leader. “Each successor stage really builds on its predecessor, so it’s imperative that organizations really embrace and institutionalize the concept that achieving compliance is not just a technology focused project. Real success will be defined by highly-effective adoption of redesigned clinical workflows and care delivery processes.”
Adds Joe Kuehn, partner and KPMG Healthcare financial management leader, “If the providers don’t redesign their workflows, or processes, prior to the implementation of the EHR system, they run the risk of bogging down a very expensive tool with bad processes that won’t yield the benefits the system should provide in the best case, and never achieve meaningful use thresholds in the worst case.”
“In the long-term, EHR implementation is a critical driver for clinical and other business intelligence mandates,” said Kuehn. “Healthcare organizations must consider other important mandates, including ICD-10 and accountable care capabilities, in concert with the EHR transformation. This will help promote sustainability and future return on investment.”
The KPMG Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Institute conducted a webcast on meaningful use Stage 1 and Stage 2 requirements last month. The results reflect responses from more than 250 hospital and health system administrators who self selected to participate in the webcast poll.
Respondents consisted of senior members of these organizations who have awareness of, or responsibility for, their organizations’ IT and finance programs. A replay of the webcast can be accessed via the following link: http://www.kpmginstitutes.com/healthcare-pharma-institute/events/meaningful-use-webcast.aspx
The KPMG Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Institute (www.kpmghealthcarepharmainstitute.com) provides a forum for healthcare business leaders to gain insight into emerging issues, consider approaches to help balance risk and controls and improve performance, and further explore the accelerating transformation within the healthcare industry, both domestically and globally.
KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (www.kpmg.com/us), is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International.”) KPMG International’s member firms have 145,000 people, including more than 8,000 partners, in 152 countries.