Our Star Life Sciences Medical Monitor™ research found that larger practice size correlates with placing greater value on Electronic Health Records (EHRs). My colleague Josh Spiegel speculated that larger practices value EHRs because of their potential to increase efficiency.
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has confirmed this speculation.
The study found that communities in Massachusetts that implemented EHRs had a slower rise in outpatient healthcare costs compared with communities that had not implemented EHRs. The savings were modest—only 3% or about $5 per patient per month—but encouraging. Unfortunately, total costs and costs associated with in-patient care were not affected.
While EHRs do show potential in helping to reduce healthcare costs, their greatest impact on costs may be indirect. An integrated system of EHRs could be a valuable tool to help identify which healthcare services and treatments result in the best outcomes and greatest savings.
How do you envision the impact of EHRs on healthcare costs in the future?