Community hospitals adopting IT faster than ever

By Bernie Monegain
09:36 AM

The community hospital that still relies exclusively on a paper medical record is rapidly moving toward extinction, according to a new report from research firm, as meaningful use drives a jump in the adoption of electronic health records.

Larger hospitals and IDNs have led the adoption of EMR technologies over the past several years, but many vendors now see the community space as providing an opportunity for market share growth.

The KLAS Community Hospital CMS 2011: Rapid Adoption found that community hospitals – now motivated by meaningful use and the associated financial incentives – have awakened to the reality that clinical information technology is not only within their reach but may be fundamental to their sustainability. Where clinicians previously may have had exposure only to order entry and results, today the physician/clinician workflow is becoming increasingly dependent on technology.
As a result, community EMR sales exploded in 2010. Over half of community providers contracting with a CIS were those with no prior CIS, while another 36 percent came from providers deciding to purchase a different vendor after leaving their legacy system or affiliating with an IDN.

According to KLAS estimates, approximately 300-500 U.S. hospitals have yet to commit to a CIS vendor as of the start of 2011.

Community Hospital CMS 2011: Rapid Adoption explores what vendors are doing, as well as which vendors have lost the most hospitals in 2010, which ones made up for it in new sales, how hosted solutions are affecting the landscape of the market, how many IDN-associated hospitals vendors won versus standalone hospitals, and who the newer market entrants are for community hospital clinical information systems.