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.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

KLAS Research: Small Hospitals’ Buying Decisions Impacting EMR Market Share

A new KLAS Research report tracks shifts in electronic medical record (EMR) vendor market share among acute care hospitals, and finds that smaller hospitals are seeking technology solutions that meet their needs and limited budgets, and these contracts are making a mark on the EMR market.

Survey: Majority of Providers Predict Success for New Generic Drug Company, Project Rx

Back in January, four health systems, in consultation with the VA, announced a collaboration to develop a new, not-for-profit generic drug company. A survey has found that 90 percent of providers say they would become customers of the new venture.

Personalized Medicine Awareness Low Among U.S. Adults, Survey Finds

Genetics and personalized medicine are not top of mind for the general public in the U.S., according to a recent survey from GenomeWeb and the Personalized Medicine Coalition.

Industry Organizations Praise Senate Passage of VA Mission Act

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed, by a vote of 92-5, a major Veterans Affairs (VA) reform bill that includes health IT-related provisions to improve health data exchange between VA healthcare providers and community care providers.

NIH Issues Funding Announcement for All of Us Genomic Research Program

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “All of Us” Research Program has issued a funding announcement for genome centers to generate genotype and whole genome sequence data from participants’ biosamples.

MGMA: Physician Compensation Data Illustrates Nationwide PCP Shortage

Primary care physicians’ compensation rose by more than 10 percent over the past five years, representing an increase which is nearly double that of specialty physicians’ compensation over the same period, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).