Electronic health records and the impact on workflow and costs2018-07-31
Healthcare practitioners and hospitals were initially slow to implement electronic health records (EHR) due to the perceived cost. The financial incentives from Medicare/Medicaid to adopt EHRs helped alleviate some of that concern, but the actual impact on workflow and profits, irrespective of those incentives, are still under investigation. In a research study, Steven D. Culler, adjunct associate professor of finance, along with David J. Ballard (Baylor Health Care System); Edmund R. Becker (Emory University); Dunlei Cheng (U of Texas); Briget da Graca (Baylor Health Care System); Neil S. Fleming (Baylor Health Care System); and Russell McCorkle (HealthTexas Provider Network) analyzed administrative, payroll, and billing data from 26 primary care practices in a Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas-based fee-for-service network that implemented EHRs from June 2006 through December 2008. In the 12-month period following implementation, staffing expenses increased 3 percent and practice costs increased 6 percent. The data revealed that “productivity, volume, and net income decreased initially, but recovered to/close to preimplementation levels after 12 months.” Given the recent rollout of EHRs across the country, the researchers noted the need for a longer-term investigation of the impact on productivity and costs.
The Impact of Electronic Health Records on Workflow and Financial Measures in Primary Care Practices
We previously reported the hardware, software, and time-and-effort costs of implementing a commercially developed EHR in 26 primary care practices. We now report the impact on productivity, staffing, and financial measures in those same practices.PubMed Central (PMC)