EMRs May or May Not Save Money

Two recent studies came out that seem to be contradicting each other.  One shows that doctors order less tests because the EMR (electronic medical record) allows them to see what has been ordered in the past.  The other shows that  the EMR, for some reason, led to more testing.  Ah, the beauty of research.  Different variables can make some studies go one way or another.   Personally, I think the EMR has helped me save so many patients from repeated tests that it is not even a question whether the EMR is beneficial or not.  We should be over that.  It is what we do with the EMR from this point that the controversies will really begin.  For example:

  • Using the EMR to grade and pay doctors
  • Selling patient information from the EMR (see Practice Fusion)
  • Spying on doctors (by insurance companies, govt, etc)
  • Spying on patients (by insurance companies, govt, etc)

I think it was Al Jolson who said, “You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!”.   Well, we “ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

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