After reading this article and having been in this business for a while it somewhat tells me that the expertise needed by the imagehospital was not there and they didn’t understand the complexities of how a hospital medical record system worked.  You can read where the hospital only has 2 IT people and I can tell a story from the past to where I had a hospital as an account where there was few more folks but nobody knew how to install a SQL server and thus I was contracted to do so.  SQL server install is pretty matter of fact in today’s world of business, so I can clearly say from reading this that they were not prepared. 

Now a new consultant has been brought inimage and maybe they will see some progress and get their system installed.  The hospital didn’t appear to understand that the systems are modular with features you can either add or not add and the price goes up with each addition as you build the systems as you need them.  The case is now in arbitration and I hope it has a happy ending somewhere along the line.  CIOs and IT departments face this all the time with unexpected dollars that are needed and it’s not always the medical record software as hardware upgrades and so forth creep in there too. 

As one more suggestion, maybe get someone on the board that knows a bit about health IT for the future as well as that’s what boards are for, members with knowledge to help guide situations and business decisions as such.  BD

Girard Medical Center, a rural hospital in Kansas which services mainly uninsured patients and the elderly, wanted an electronic medical record system to better share information with its clinic offshoots and to claim federal incentives.

But a year-and-a-half and more than a million dollars later, the hospital says it’s no closer to having electronic medical records, and is blaming its vendor for the failure of the project.

Whether the fault for the failed project should rest on the big corporate vendor or the small hospital is unclear. But Girard’s story illustrates the risks for organizations of all kinds when they attempt to innovate by bringing in new, and unfamiliar, technologies and vendors.

Girard’s tale illustrates the inherent risk as health-care providers of all sizes move towards implementing electronic medical records. While hospitals are eager to pick up some of the $19 billion in funds the Obama Administration made available in 2009 as part of the stimulus package, they often lack the in-house expertise to contract with and supervise vendors on the complex implementation of records systems.

“Health-care systems are putting in these systems with all due haste to try to get this money,” said Dave Garets, executive director of the Advisory Board Company, a health-care research firm. “But you’ve got to have the people in-house who really understand this process and these people don’t come cheap.”


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