For most healthcare organizations, implementing an electronic health record (EHR) system is one of the most significant information technology (IT) investments they've ever made in terms of dollars and labor resources. While several studies have estimated the cost to purchase and install an EHR to be anywhere between $15,000 to $70,000 per provider , real-world implementations have soared into the billions.
One the main data sources for the EHR is the item master, which drives not only supply chain processes but also a broad range of clinical and financial functions. While item master data integrity is critical to the successful implementation and use of an EHR, most providers struggle with inaccurate, outdated and erroneous information. Organizations that have implemented EHRs without first tackling the data quality issues have found they cannot trust the outputs generated from their EHRs – from evaluating the clinical effectiveness of products to securing reimbursements.
In this paper, we examine the critical role of supply chain in EHR implementations, why the item master has been described as the “center of the universe” by healthcare organizations, how bad item master data undermines EHR success, and how clean data can drive successful EHR adoption and use, including examples, perspectives and best practices from Piedmont HealthCare, one of the largest physician-owned and directed, multi-specialty groups in North Carolina and the Southeast region.