UC-Davis Electronic Records Project Behind Schedule
The University of California-Davis has spent more and taken longer than expected to set up its electronic health record system, according to an audit of the program released last month, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
The health system's transition to EHRs began in 2002 and was expected to be completed by late 2006 and cost $76 million. The project is only half complete and so far has cost $85 million, including overall development of the system and other ancillary projects.
Cost overruns are common in EHR projects because it often is difficult to get the support of providers and to train them to use the system, according to the Business Journal.
The project's new work plan, from July 2006 to June 2008, is projected to cost $23 million, according to UC-Davis spokesperson Bonnie Hyatt, who noted that the cost includes other ancillary systems and ongoing maintenance.
The audit concluded that management followed university policy on hiring consultants but that there is no evidence that existing staff could not be assigned to do what the university paid outside consultants $17 million to do. The audit recommends the health system tighten oversight of the program and adopt a policy requiring evaluation of internal staff before hiring outside help (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 3/12).