Cost-Savings Promise of Health IT Not Reached, Report Says | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Cost-Savings Promise of Health IT Not Reached, Report Says

January 10, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

According to analysis from members of the Santa Monica, Calif.-based non-profit research organization, the RAND Corporation, the cost-savings coming from the installation of health IT systems such as EMRs has not been reached because of slow adoption, and a lack of inter-connectivity and ease-of-use. The authors of the report, which appears in the latest issue of the journal Health Affairs, say this cost-savings potential will not be realized until providers “re-engineer their processes to focus on the benefits” the systems can achieve.

"The failure of health information technology to quickly deliver on its promise is not caused by its lack of potential, but rather because of the shortcomings in the design of the IT systems that are currently in place," Art Kellermann, M.D., the study's senior author and the Paul O'Neill Alcoa Chair in Policy Analysis at RAND, said in a statement.

"We believe the productivity gains of health information technology are being delayed by the slow pace of adoption and the failure of many providers to make the process changes needed to realize the potential," he added.

Originally, a team of RAND researchers published an analysis in 2005 which said health IT systems could save the U.S. $81 billion annually, with improvements in the delivery and efficiency of healthcare. However, the authors of the current report say there are questions about the safety and efficiency of health IT systems.

Kellermann and Spencer S. Jones, Ph.D., co-author of the report and associate information scientist at the RAND Corporation, offer numerous suggestions as how to improve this inefficiency. They say interoperability should be improved as health information stored in one IT system should be retrievable by other systems, They say this is “particularly important in emergency situations.”

In addition, the authors say, patients should have ready access to their electronic health information, and health IT systems must be engineered to aid the work of clinicians, not be disruptive. They say systems should be intuitive, so they can be used by busy healthcare providers without extensive training.

Topics

News

NewYork-Presbyterian, Walgreens Partner on Telemedicine Initiative

NewYork-Presbyterian and Walgreens are collaborating to bring expanded access to NewYork-Presbyterian’s healthcare through new telemedicine services, the two organizations announced this week.

ONC Releases Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) developed a framework to help health systems, large practices, health information exchanges and payers to improve their patient demographic data quality.

AMIA, Pew Urge Congress to Ensure ONC has Funding to Implement Cures Provisions

The Pew Charitable Trusts and the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) have sent a letter to congressional appropriators urging them to ensure that ONC has adequate funding to implement certain 21st Century Cures Act provisions.

Former Michigan Governor to Serve as Chair of DRIVE Health

Former Michigan Governor John Engler will serve as chair of the DRIVE Health Initiative, a campaign aimed at accelerating the U.S. health system's transition to value-based care.

NJ Medical Group Launches Statewide HIE, OneHealth New Jersey

The Medical Society of New Jersey (MSNJ) recently launched OneHealth New Jersey, a statewide health information exchange (HIE) that is now live.

Survey: 70% of Providers Using Off-Premises Computing for Some Applications

A survey conducted by KLAS Research found that 70 percent of healthcare organizations have moved at least some applications or IT infrastructure off-premises.