My latest JAMA Forum post, with Elsa Pearson, is about health information technology’s (HIT’s) role in administrative costs. It’s disappointing.
HIT doesn’t actually seem to be providing substantial [administrative] savings. A 2014 review of early adoption of HIT among thousands of US hospitals showed no notable cost savings 5 years after implementation. One study of an EHR implementation pilot program in Massachusetts found the average projected 5-year return was negative, with a loss of almost $44 000 per physician.
Additionally, C. Scott Kruse, PhD, MSIT, MHA, MBA, of Texas State University, and colleagues found cost to be the most cited barrier of HIT implementation in long-term care facilities, and a 2012 study of computerized physician order entry for a particular medication found no reduction in daily cost of therapy.
Instead, studies show HIT contributes to something else: improved clinical outcomes.
Go read the rest.
Research for this piece was supported by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.