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Opportunity Cost of EMRs


What: Different studies have shown the use of EMR systems to have been extremely beneficial to providers and patients while others have shown the use of EMRs to increase the incurred costs drastically. For a doctor looking to implement EMR at the office, reports suggesting varied conclusions can be very confusing. Recently, the Journal of the American Medical Association, in an article, commented on the advantages of Meaningful Use and said, ’Meaningful use provisions will help improve legibility of clinical records, reduce prescription errors, improve adherence to guidelines, improve patients’ access to their records, and ensure that clinicians and hospitals are capable of exchanging clinical data.’ Still, others cannot see past the expenses of implementation.

Why: “Doctors who are used to paper records are having a seriously hard time trying to transition from paper charts to Electronic Medical Records.” Digital health records are an inevitability. There is just too much pressure to control the data and costs associated with health care delivery. What physicians can best hope for is to be involved in the process from the beginning, recoup some of their costs with financial incentives while they are still available, and be part of the solution instead of being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

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