Becker’s is reporting that Lahey Health is laying off 130 people in large part due to their expensive Epic EHR implementation. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
On Wednesday, Burlington, Mass.-based Lahey Health announced it is laying off 130 people at three hospitals to help close the budget gap.
In the six months ended March 31, Lahey Health reported losing $21 million, partly due to lost business during the winter’s fierce snowstorms and partly due to its EHR implementation, which cost the system more than it expected, according to a Boston Globe report.
Even better is the CEO of Lahey Hospital and Medical Center made this comment about the EHR implementation costs:
“What we’ve found in the last quarter, which is our triple whammy, is we have a lot of training costs, which are necessary before you go live,” Dr. Conroy said.
First, that probably means that it cost a lot more than $160 million for the Epic EHR implementation since they were unexpected training costs. Second, I wonder how many people were hired as part of the $160 million budget. It certainly makes for an interesting story that they’d hire tons of EHR and healthcare IT talent and lay off other people at their hospital.
Stories like this explain at least part of the reason why many clinical staff are turning to IT jobs. It also reminds me of the doctor who complained about an EHR training with the comment “Do you want your well paid doctors wasting time with this?” The EHR project manager said, “Our well paid doctors are a lot cheaper than are high priced EHR consultants.”