A Hospital Administrator's View of Syndromic Surveillance
Penn Krause, HMS’ Vice President of Business Development, has previously served as a CEO, COO, and Division Vice President in non-profit and investor-owned healthcare systems. During his tenure as COO of the Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, the system was named one of Hospitals and Health Networks “Most Wired.”
In a recent HealthData Management article, Joseph Goedert writes, “sales of electronic health records (EHR) systems hit $17.9 billion in 2011, a 14.2 percent increase over the previous year, according to an annual study from Kalorama Information, a New York-based research firm.”
As the adoption of EHRs accelerates, more hospitals are working to understand the financial and technical requirements of Syndromic Surveillance Implementation.
EHR implementation can be a challenge for even the most skilled IT department. Syndromic Surveillance is just one part of the bigger EHR picture. The biggest areas of concern involve:
Cost and Timing
Additionally, the up front cost of an EHR is a concern. While compliance ensures receipt of Medicare and Medicaid incentives, getting an EHR system up and running is costly—both in terms of time and money.
Long Term Planning
Stage 2 Meaningful Use implementation becomes mandatory in 2014, so long term planning is critical to address the challenges involved.
Addressing these complex issues now will help hospitals to plan well for Syndromic Surveillance implementation. This will help to ease the transition to stage 2.