Washington Update

Model Assesses Return on Investment of Electronic Health Records

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With increasing numbers of health care organizations adopting electronic health records (EHRs), the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released a discussion paper proposing a model to calculate the financial implications, benefits and costs of implementing EHRs and related technologies.

Return on Information: A Standard Model for Assessing Institutional Return on Electronic Health Records
notes that health care has been “a reluctant late adopter” of information technology, lagging behind other industries. Nevertheless, the paper asserts that enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has spurred greater innovation in delivery systems, making standards-based, interoperable IT systems increasingly necessary in the future.

According to the paper, the goal of the proposed model is “to provide a clear framework and propose a standard model for evaluating institutional investment in EHRs and related technologies to enable inter-organizational comparisons, help identify best-in-class implementation approaches, and prioritize process redesign endeavors.”

A standard assessment model would make possible for the first time the direct comparison of vendor technologies or products based on a standard set of cost/benefit assumptions.

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