EMR ROI is Real

While many physicians believe return on investment (ROI) in health care technology is a figment of an overactive imagination, a growing body of evidence supports the conclusion that clinical applications increase efficiency, improve quality, and boost patient safety. In his recent blog , “A Message to America’s Physicians: Purchasing EHR Technology A Shaky State of Affairs,” David Kibbe, MD, says that cost of purchase is not the primary barrier to EMR implementation – uncertainty is. But that doesn’t have to be the case. To illustrate his point, Kibbe quoted Lawrence Summers, director of the White House’s National Economic Council. “If you as a business were considering buying a new boiler, and if you knew the price of energy was going to be high, you would buy one kind of boiler. If you knew the price of energy was going to be low, you’d buy another kind of boiler. If you didn’t know what the price of energy was going to be, but you thought you would know a year from now, you wouldn’t buy any boiler at all.” According to Kibbe, what this means is that physicians who know their reimbursement rates will be high will buy one kind of EMR, while physicians who know their reimbursement rates will be low will buy another kind of EMR. On the other hand, physicians who don’t know what their reimbursement rates are going to be, but think they will know a year from now, won’t buy any EMR at all. While there is certainly some logic to this, EMR implementation isn’t just about reimbursements. Certainly, reimbursements are important, especially for physicians in small practices. That’s because the amount they are paid per encounter by health plans, Medicare, and Medicaid are what determines how much money, net of expenses, they will have available for significant investments such as EMR technology. But EMR technology can save you money in the long run. As with any technology there is an up-front cost, but the return on investment (ROI) increases with each year after implementation. While many believe ROI in health care technology is a figment of an overactive imagination, a growing body of evidence supports the conclusion that clinical applications increase efficiency, improve quality, and boost patient safety. That’s particularly true if you choose an EMR that can stand the test of time — so choose wisely, but choose soon.While many physicians believe return on investment (ROI) in health care technology is a figment of an overactive imagination, a growing body of evidence supports the conclusion that clinical applications increase efficiency, improve quality, and boost patient safety.

In his recent blog, “A Message to America’s Physicians: Purchasing EHR Technology A Shaky State of Affairs,” David Kibbe, MD, says that cost of purchase is not the primary barrier to EMR implementation uncertainty is. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

To illustrate his point, Kibbe quoted Lawrence Summers, director of the White House’s National Economic Council. “If you as a business were considering buying a new boiler, and if you knew the price of energy was going to be high, you would buy one kind of boiler. If you knew the price of energy was going to be low, you’d buy another kind of boiler. If you didn’t know what the price of energy was going to be, but you thought you would know a year from now, you wouldn’t buy any boiler at all.”

According to Kibbe, what this means is that physicians who know their reimbursement rates will be high will buy one kind of EMR, while physicians who know their reimbursement rates will be low will buy another kind of EMR. On the other hand, physicians who don’t know what their reimbursement rates are going to be, but think they will know a year from now, won’t buy any EMR at all.

While there is certainly some logic to this, EMR implementation isn’t just about reimbursements. Certainly, reimbursements are important, especially for physicians in small practices. That’s because the amount they are paid per encounter by health plans, Medicare, and Medicaid are what determines how much money, net of expenses, they will have available for significant investments such as EMR technology.

But EMR technology can save you money in the long run. As with any technology there is an up-front cost, but the return on investment (ROI) increases with each year after implementation. While many believe ROI in health care technology is a figment of an overactive imagination, a growing body of evidence supports the conclusion that clinical applications increase efficiency, improve quality, and boost patient safety. That’s particularly true if you choose an EMR that can stand the test of timeso choose wisely, but choose soon.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.