The healthcare industry has seen a surge in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in recent years, seeing operational and financial pressure and leading to increased complexities in integrating electronic health record (EHR) systems across organizations. This rise has prompted organizations to adopt new strategies for EHR integration.

A recent article by EHR Intelligence article profiles New Orleans-based LCMC Health after a series of M&As, which faced the challenge of consolidating different EHRs after acquiring four independent hospitals on different technology platforms. The organization aimed to streamline clinical, operations, and revenue cycle functionality by consolidating disparate EHRs and RCM platforms into a single, integrated solution.

CIO Tanya Townson led the effort to implement an integrated EHR solution, focusing on user adoption and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success.

Key Points:

  • LCMC Health integrated EHR systems to streamline clinical, operations, and revenue cycle functionality following a series of M&As
  • The integrated Epic EHR solution has saved LCMC money by eliminating duplication of systems and streamlining operations
  • CIO Tanya Townson emphasizes the importance of measuring user adoption and KPIs throughout the EHR implementation process

LCMC Health decided on an integrated Epic EHR system after assessing its compatibility with existing platforms and the potential for cost savings. The EHR allows for the creation of longitudinal patient records, enabling providers to access comprehensive health histories across all LCMC locations.

Additionally, the system incorporated RCM functionality, covering a wide range of services, from ancillary services such as lab and imaging to emergency and outpatient care. The integrated solution eliminated the need for purchasing additional solutions and piecing them together, ultimately saving LCMC money.

However, she cautioned healthcare organizations to carefully assess upfront costs and consider the complexity of integrating hundreds of systems with the electronic health record. EHR integration requires a significant commitment from all levels of the organization, not only during implementation but also in understanding long-term resource needs.

To ensure a successful EHR integration, Townson recommended focusing on measuring and boosting EHR user adoption and other KPIs throughout the process. Baseline performance metrics should be established, followed by the setting of goals during and after implementation. This ongoing measurement, rather than a one-time assessment, allows organizations to continuously improve their EHR systems.

LCMC Health has utilized the HIMSS Electronic Health Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) as an industry benchmarking tool to measure end-user adoption and KPIs. Townson stressed the importance of monitoring how well the system is being used, rather than merely focusing on specific features or technology.

With six of LCMC’s nine hospitals having fully implemented the EHR, the organization continues to expand through M&As and rollouts.

Source: EHR Intelligence – Measuring User Adoption, KPIs Key for EHR Integration Across M&As