If you’re like most hospitals or private healthcare practices, you’re not even close to being ready for the EMR deadline. But failing to get ready in time could cost you.
EMR Deadline 2014
Under the American Recovery and Reimbursement Act (ARRA) of 2009, all medical records in the United States must be converted into electronic format by 2014. This conversion from paper to electronic medical records (EMR) is expected to increase the security of protected health information (PHI), decrease medical billing errors and improve workflow and accuracy, among other things.
What’s more, healthcare organizations that show evidence of meaningful use of certified EMRs by 2015 are eligible to receive up to $64,000 over five years from Medicare and Medicaid. Conversely, organizations that don’t upgrade to electronic records by 2019 will be charged a fine and see reduced Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.
Because of a shortage of available, qualified HIT staff to handle the EMR conversion, many hospitals and practices might find themselves in the latter category.
50,000 Health IT Workers Short and Counting
The United States government has estimated a shortfall of over 50,000 qualified health IT workers. Most of these shortages are in the form of clinical software implementation and support staff–project managers, analysts, application coordinators, report writers, trainers, informatics staff and technical writers–the very professionals who would help EMR conversions go over without a hitch.
But for an EMR conversion to be successful, basic health IT knowledge might not be enough; candidates need to have both IT and clinical expertise. A 2010 survey from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) found that 49 percent of all healthcare executives interviewed reported having difficulty recruiting HIT staff who had that mix. Still, a full 70 percent of executives surveyed said there simply weren’t enough available IT professionals in their market available to ensure they’ll meet the EMR conversion deadline.
How Can You Meet the EMR Deadline?
So, how can you increase your organization’s chances of selecting the best staff for your EMR project? For starters, you should partner with a reputable, respected HIT recruiter, like 1st Solution USA. We’re in the marketplace 365 days a year, building relationships with the best HIT talent available–the talent with the right mix of IT knowledge and clinical experience you need to make your EMR conversion successful. Simply put, we take the guesswork out of finding the best health IT staff for your team.
Want to learn more or get started? Contact 1st Solution USA today and let us find the staff to help you meet your EMR deadline.