Electronic Health Records Generate a High Return on Investment
Federal and state policy-makers have had their eyes on Electronic Health Records (EHR) for quite some time now. In the last decade or so a realization has swept across the nation. Not only could EHR pose to drastically improve upon our current health care system, but a high return on investment (ROI) could be obtained by implementing such a system. I believe it is this recent insight which caused EHR to push our health care system towards a digital health care system. Now let me show you an example from the state legislation and from my own calculations of EHR savings.
Now the type of ROI in terms of EHR implementation doesn't necessarily deal with getting money back at the end of a set period of time. What I'm talking about is reducing debts and freeing up money that normally would have been depleted in expenses. So basically we're talking about investing money in one area of your clinic in order to save money in another.
Was Minnesota's Decision based on ROI?
This means that by 2015 it will be impossible to be a licensed Minnesota provider without maintaining a digital clinic. What would influence a state into making these requirements mandatory? Well, Minnesota officials have concluded that it is going to end up costing the state less money to fund a seven year transition to mandatory EHR than it is to continue their current paper systems.
Politics Realize the Possibilities of EHR Savings
Current President Obama released statements prior to election indicating his dedication to investing $10 billion into EHR over the next five years. He cited growing medical errors and the cost of processing paper claims as reasons to switch to EHR. Some reports suggest the cost to process a paper claim is twice the amount to process a digital claim with automatic adjudication.
Even the other presidential runners-ups, like Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator John McCain had their eyes focused on EHR implementation. Sen. Clinton indicated the transformation to a paperless clinic as number two point in revamping our health care system. Sen. John McCain too, mentioned his plans for a "21st century health care information system".
Politics have been and current still are alive with the possibilities of creating a new model of controlling health care spending by utilizing the improved quality and efficiency of maintaining EHR in a digital clinic.
What does this mean for my clinic?
Better Office Management means a High ROI
Consider this scenario: For every patient that walks through your clinic door, a staff member is going to have to locate their file; pull it, retrieve it, and then re-file it back into its place. In a perfect no-error clinic, none of these files would ever get lost. Inevitably one of these files is lost or misfiled. This leads to more time spend searching or worse yet, recreating the lost patient's information.
Money Lost in Other Office Areas
Nor does it include the savings accumulated by digitally storing local and outside plain films or MRIs, or in the digital prompts that can lead to a more lucrative patient management, or even in how often you lose time searching through a disorganized file for some piece of information.
Rather than spending minutes per file, per day, your office literally can spend only seconds. With an EHR system in place, there are no lost files, no pulling files, no searching for files, no getting up and walking files from one place to another, and no opening and pulling files apart to clean and organize. That's $2,400 you haven't spent in one year; over $25,000 in 10 years.
Acquire Substantial Benefits with EHR