Benefits of Electronic Health Records and Electronic Medical Records Systems
The EHR and EMR advantages, as well as the savings, according to RAND, come from “reducing redundant care, speeding patient treatment, improving safety and keeping patients healthier.”
The difference in these numbers can be attributed in part to different assumptions about the future of the health care industry. A 2008 report by the Congressional Budget Office notes that some optimistic estimates rely on a best-case scenario of potential savings of electronic health records that only apply if other changes are made to the health care system in coordination with electronic medical records implementation.
One of the EMR advantages is the idea that every time a doctor or nurse sees a patient, a whole database of information is instantly available, including allergies, underlying conditions and test results. On a theoretical level this should save patients money by reducing excess treatment. However, there is little data currently available to support that hypothesis.
There are reports that suggest electronic health records software implementation could bring significant cost savings for physicians and providers. A 2003 cost benefit analysis published in the American Journal of Medicine estimated that the net EMR benefits for a 5-year period was $86,400 per provider.