Hospital mergers could lead to major technology challenges for health care organizations, the Wall Street Journal's "CIO Journal" reports.
For example, hospitals undergoing mergers might not use the same electronic health record system. For a merger to go smoothly, one of the organizations likely would need to replace or upgrade its EHR system to allow for continuity across the newly merged health care system.
In addition, many hospitals have different technical terminology and care documentation methods, which could lead to data migration issues when hospitals merge. For example, one hospital could call an injury a "chief malady" while another could call it a "primary complaint."
Mark Moroses, CIO of Continuum Health Partners, said that hospitals undergoing mergers should conduct several test runs before starting the full data migration process. During the test runs, physicians and nurses should scrutinize samples of the data being transferred to detect potential errors, Moroses said (Schectman, "CIO Journal," Wall Street Journal, 6/13).