This from the journal Medical Economics:
Health information technology (HIT) advances have failed to save the healthcare industry money because the current systems are too disconnected and difficult to use, according to a new report from Rand Corp.
What? Technology is not the ultimate answer?
The Rand researchers predicted in 2005 that HIT could save the U.S. healthcare industry more than $81 billion per year. Seven years later, cost savings from HIT “are nowhere to be found considering that healthcare spending has grown by $800 billion”. The authors of the study feel this could be fixed if “the systems are redesigned to address these flaws by creating more-standardized systems that are easier to use, are truly interoperable, and afford patients more access to and control over their health data”. Good luck with that. Every hospital system has different EMRs. There are also tons of different EMRs for doctors’ offices, urgent care centers, and on and on. Converting back to ONE system would be an enormous cost. The horse is out of the barn. So for quite a while longer when a patient goes to another medical system we will have to continue to print someone’s electronic medical records, fax them and rescan them while we work this out. And that is really not that cheap or efficient.