News Feature | August 5, 2016

Significant Savings Possible Through Advanced EHR Use

Source: Allscripts
Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

Using an advanced EHR may lead to significant per patient savings, according to a recent retrospective analysis.

If your organization is using an advanced EHR, it may be saving you a significant amount per patient according to a study published in American Journal of Managed Care.

Per patient savings can amount to as much as $730 for hospitals using advanced EHR software compared to the cost per patient at hospitals where there is no advanced EHR in place. For the purposes of this study, organizations that achieved the benchmarks set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ EHR Incentive Programs were categorized as advanced EHR users.

Study authors write, “To qualify as a meaningful user and benefit from the related incentives, EHR systems must include electronic prescribing, health information exchange with other providers, automated reporting of quality data, electronic recording of patients’ history (demographics, vital signs, medication and diagnosis lists, and smoking status), created care summary documents, and at least 1 clinical decision support tool.”

According to EHR Intelligence, the research team looked at 550 hospitals, of which 104 qualified as advanced EHR users. The average savings per patient at those 104 hospitals was 9.66 percent, or $730. This cost difference is attributed to increased efficiency provided by advanced EHRs.

The researchers remind readers, however that having any EHR is not enough. “Hospitals must anticipate that the financial savings may not exist until advanced, “meaningful” use is attained,” they say. “The majority of hospitals have yet to reach the stage of implementation where cost savings are possible, since they are not using advanced EHRs.”