January 24, 2011 – Consultancy firm Accenture estimates nearly 90 percent of U.S. hospitals will have to install or upgrade electronic health records systems during the next three years to become meaningful users.

Consequently, Accenture recently conducted comprehensive interviews of 15 CIOs from delivery systems that have reached at least Stage 4 on the HIMSS Analytics' scale of EHR achievement to learn their lessons. Some of the lessons include:

  • Most of the delivery systems underestimated, by nearly 100 percent, the time and costs associated with implementing advanced applications such as order entry, nursing and physician documentation, clinical decision support, and bar-coded medication management;
  • Nearly all interviewed CIOs worried considerably about unfilled IT positions and how they would source enough talent from the marketplace;
  • IT operating costs will spike and managing them requires leadership alignment and patience;
  • Many CIOs believe they missed the opportunity to conduct an enterprise EHR strategy, which made it more difficult later to engage ambulatory physicians; and
  • Expect to increase FTEs for IT support by 45 percent.

This story originally appeared on Health Data Management.