Implementing EHR does not affect a hospital's bond rating

Implementing an electronic health record (EHR) system does not affect a hospital’s bond rating, according to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association.

With most of hospital systems having EHRs, researchers set out to determine the impact of implementation on hospital bond ratings and net income. In this study, researchers led by Adam Wright of Brigham and Women’s Hospital evaluated the impact EHRs have on hospital finances.

In all, 32 hospitals that had recently implemented a EHRs were evaluated against a set of matched controls. Results found that after EHR implementation, seven hospitals had a bond downgrade, seven had a bond upgrade and 18 had no changes. Researchers noted no difference in bond rating changes or changes to net income for service to patients after EHRs go live.

“Most hospitals in our analysis saw no change in bond ratings following EHR go-live, with no significant differences observed between EHR implementation and control hospitals,” concluded Wright and colleagues. “There was also no apparent difference in net income for services to patients.”