Survey Reveals Healthcare Providers' Readiness for Electronic Health Records*

National Survey Reveals Healthcare Providers' Technological Readiness to Participate in Electronic Health Records Network

he dialogue on healthcare reform has focused on patients, but one company sees the issue from a totally different perspective. ReymannGroup recently surveyed healthcare providers nationwide to determine their technological readiness to implement healthcare changes.

ReymannGroup, in conjunction with CREDANT Technologies, has released "Healthcare: State-of-Readiness for HITECH and EHR (Electronic Health Records)," the report based on the survey results. The report is timely, as the stimulus package President Obama signed in February includes the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act, calling for implementation by 2011 of a national network to share electronic health records.

ReymannGroup evaluated a checklist of information technology considerations among the surveyed organizations for:

-- Security and encryption
-- Broadband capacity
-- Storage of records

Paul Reymann, CEO of ReymannGroup and co-author of the GLBA Data Security Rule, said a key finding is that while many of the respondents are already processing electronic health records, less than half share those records or plan to do so within the next year. In addition, while most consider the need for increased storage as a priority, only about half are evaluating their current broadband and mobile device capabilities.

In general, healthcare organizations realize they must start preparing for compliance with the HITECH Act to receive financial incentives in 2011 through 2014, avoid discounted reimbursements after 2014, and work with an increasingly mobile network of clinicians.

"In the best-case scenario," Reymann explained, "an eligible practitioner will only receive up to $44,000 in financial incentives for adopting the 'meaningful use' of electronic health records under federal funding programs. This means their stimulus money is coming on the back end, after they have successfully implemented EHR capabilities. So it is critically important that healthcare organizations have a cost-effective and thought-out strategy to ensure infrastructure and other capabilities are in place before
2011 - to cash in on the financial incentives."

Sean P. Glynn, Director of Marketing for CREDANT Technologies, added, "We are excited to collaborate with ReymannGroup to determine the current 'state-of-readiness'
among healthcare practitioners. Many of our clients are focused on HITECH Act compliance, security, and privacy challenges for their patient records. While we agree that encrypting data is at the foundation of protecting data, we also want to ensure that our clients understand the many other tactical steps needed."
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