Introduction Problem Introduction: What is an EMR? Background Conclusion
The cost of healthcare is still a rising concern in the United States today. According to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) database, America spent 17.6% of the GDP on healthcare in 2010. It is estimated that United States spends around $1.3-$1.7 trillion annually on health care. The main goal of the HITECH act is to reduce the cost of healthcare while maintaining high quality care for patients. A common inquiry about this piece of legislation is: will using an electronic medical record system be cost effective?
An EMR system stores information on a database about a patients, pharmacy prescription, health status, clinical decision support, insurance, and evaluations/ results of recent visits to a medical facility. The EMR system allows for fast and secure exchange of information through electronic transfer to one care facility to another such as a medical clinic to a hospital. A unique feature that comes with EMR systems is interface, which allows medical professionals to put in data from any medical device from IPad to a PC directly to the database of the EMR.
Multiple studies have shown how cost-effective EMR systems can be In a Systematic Review: Impact of Health Information Technology on Quality, Efficiency, and Costs of Medical Care, their findings showed out of 257 studies that were reviewed most were in support that EMR systems are effective and cost efficient. Three major benefits on quality were demonstrated: increased adherence to guideline-based care, enhanced surveillance and monitoring, and decreased medication errors. The primary domain of improvement was preventive health. The major efficiency benefit shown was decreased utilization of care (Shinyi, 2006). .
In the study titled “Can Electronic Medical Record System Transform Health Care? Potential Benefits, Savings, and Costs”. This article in the beginning paragraphs states the idea that an estimated $142-$371 billon could be saved annually nationwide, through efficiency and improved patient health outcomes as a result of better coordination between providers. They concluded that EMR systems will be cost effective (Health at a Glance, 2003).
“A cost-benefit analysis of electronic medical records in primary care”, the purpose of the study was to estimate the net financial benefit or cost in implementing EMR systems in primary care facilities. The tornado diagram shows the one-way sensitivity analysis of 5 year- benefits. The vertical line represents the base and each bar describes the net benefits varied across the indicated range values. They study concluded that conversions to the electronic medical record system in primary care can result in a positive financial investment and be cost-effective (Wang, 2003).
When it comes to solving the economic crisis of health care in the United States, Electronic Medical Record systems is a step in the right direction. The U.S Government implementing and passing legislation such as the HITECH act will help reduces the economic burden. They are able to reduce human error and duplicate testing for patients such as MRI’s or x-rays. Physicians are able to spend more time with patients then worry about administrative task. It also cuts administrative manpower, which leads in to the implication of cost-effectiveness. As proven above multiple studies have shown that Electronic Medical Record Systems are cost-effective in the long run and reduces healthcare cost tremendously. An EMR system is a step in the right direction and more physicians need to convert to theses systems along with other healthcare settings.
Health O Meter. (2010, May 17). Retrieved from EMR/EHR Compliance:http://www.homscales.com/aboutus/EMR-EHR.asp Shinyi Wu, BasitChaudhry, Jerome Wang, Margaret Maglione, Walter Mojica, Elizabeth Roth, Sally C. Morton, and Paul G. Shekelle. "Systematic Review: Impact of Health Information Technology on Quality, Efficiency, and Costs of Medical Care" Annals of Internal Medicine 144.10 (2006): 742-752. Available at: http://works.bepress.com/shinyi_wu/6 Wang, J. (2003). A cost-benefit analysis of electronic medical records in primary care. The American journal of medicine, 114(5), 397-403. Retrieved from http:// www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002934303000573