The integration of electronic health record systems in healthcare settings has brought forth unfathomable capabilities. Quality patient care, along with decreased medical errors only names a few of the incredible improvements being made. Determining the cost-effectiveness of implementing a health information system in a large, medium, and small scaled facility is analyzed. Ethical issues along with legalities and advantages are discussed in this paper.
A key issue to the implementation of electronic health records rests on unresolved issues and who ultimately is responsible for costs. Under most provider reimbursement models according to Sittig, and Singh (2011), “An estimated 89% of monetary donations to EHR relies on health care payers, rather than those who finance the implementations” (American academy of pediatrics, pp. 1043, para. 4). With providers well aware of this, perhaps initially implementing such a system may not be as simple as it seems.
For those physicians concerned about costs more than having available resources, implementing and maintaining an EHR may be risky. According to Sittig, and Singh (2011), approximate costs up to $50,000 is required for implantation and maintenance. System costs for maintenance could involve software, hardware, training, and support (Murphy, 2012). There is discussion about stimulus money providing reimbursements for clinicians but further questions about the role health insurers’ will have in funding is uncertain. Through the recent passing of the patient protection and affordable care act an emphasis on patient-centered medical offers looked to promise financial support for EHR and health information exchange implementation (Murphy, 2012).
the recent passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with its Accountable Care Organizations63 and the emphasis on the patient-centered medical home model64 offers promise for the increased financial support of EHR and HIE implementation. Taking the leap of fate is in the hands of the physicians and the beliefs the benefits of installation will provide for patients.
Secondly induced costs require attention and many offices will need to partake in the transition. Going from paper to electronic systems seems simple, but down time and decreased provider productivity during this time period should not be overlooked. With software costs being well over $1600 per provider per year based on current electronic medical record systems, consequently adequate installation time is required (Sittig, and Singh, 2011). Initial registering of a program may or may not require an access code and fee depending on the type. Another factor includes upgrades, cost of user accounts, and support staff (Sittig, and Singh, 2011). Inflation initially may decrease as more providers choose an EHR system but facilities should not rest assured of this.
Another dilemma arises in pediatric offices in that these patients will...