Accenture Health CIO Survey Showcases Challenges and Successes of EMR Implementation

Many Health Systems Unprepared to Meet Meaningful Use Federal Guidelines by 2015

NEW YORK; Jan. 20, 2011 –– As hospitals and health systems across America grapple with achieving meaningful use[1] of electronic medical records (EMRs), Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has released a survey of chief information officers (CIOs) from health systems with advanced use of EMRs that suggests hospitals must think and act differently to drive successful EMR implementation and clinical transformation. Change management is as critical to success as information technology (IT) planning and execution.

Less than 1 percent of health systems achieved mature use of EMRs in 2009[2] and, by Accenture’s estimate, roughly 50 percent of US hospitals are at risk of not meeting the demands of the federal requirements and incurring penalties by 2015. Medicare-based penalties to be imposed as a part of healthcare reform are estimated at $3 million to $4 million per annum for a 500-bed hospital, making implementation a primary concern for many hospital executives.

“Meaningful use of EMRs is often wrongly characterized as a check–the–box qualification for stimulus monies. But, this survey shows that exemplary hospital CIOs and health systems are changing the way technology is used to deliver healthcare. From strategic planning, staffing and adoption, health systems are integrating technology at a previously unprecedented level, but many health systems are lagging and at risk of facing penalties,” said Mark Knickrehm, global managing director, Accenture Health Practice.

Other key findings from the Accenture survey that can assist hospitals and health systems achieve meaningful use of EMRs include:

“We realized early on that achieving meaningful use by successfully implementing EMRs means that no one person in the healthcare delivery chain is exempt from being EMR savvy,” said Marc Probst, CIO of Intermountain Healthcare. “From physicians to technicians, every individual plays a role in creating an electronic record that will have meaningful impact on patient care.”

The Accenture survey provides key learnings needed to achieve meaningful use of electronic medical records that can drive clinical transformation. This understanding will enable health systems and hospitals to benefit from federal incentives and minimize the risk of penalties.

About the Survey

Accenture conducted in-depth, in-person interviews with CIOs from select US health systems with advanced EMR use and annual revenues between $1 billion and $15 billion from April – August of 2010.

Learn more about Accenture’s health practice.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 211,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$21.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2010. Its home page is


Jenn Francis
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[1] According to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, meaningful use means that providers must be using certified EHR technology that can be measured significantly in quality and in quantity.

[2] Mature is defined here as reaching Stage 7 of HIMSS Stages of EMR Maturity