A Model of Estimating the Direct Benefits of Implementing Electronic Data Exchange of EMRs and State Immunization Information Systems
In the U.S. significant investments in health information technology are being made to ensure a patient’s health data is sharable between providers. Incentive programs exist to facilitate the implementation of electronic health/medical record systems. State and regional health information authorities are challenged to facilitate the exchange of patient clinical data to improve quality of care and the management of limited resources. Interoperable health information technology is the new interstate highway system for health data flow. The exchange of timely and accurate information and its use to support decisions among patients, providers, clinicians, researchers, and public health professionals is the payoff. Investment in new health information systems will mount to hundreds of billions of dollars in the next few years alone. The unanswered question is what is the return on this investment? The assumed answer is improved patient quality of care which improves the health and economic impact on families and communities. In time, cost benefit studies will produce improved business case models for information technology investments. However, today there is an opportunity to illustrate a return on such technology investments by considering the current health information national objectives and measurement of these objectives through metric driven outcomes as specified by new meaningful use regulations. This paper summarizes an example case study that modeled the exchange of immunization records between provider-based electronic health records and state immunization registries, demonstrating the potential for increased provider revenue. The national movement to electronic health/medical record and health information exchange is underway. The return on investment for individual providers is being accelerated through new incentive programs for qualified clinicians. However, the true effectiveness of this effort will be measured over time by monitoring health outcomes in provider-based populations.
KeywordsEHR Electronic date exchange Electronic health record Electronic medical record EMR Health information exchange Health information technology HIE HITECH Immunization Immunization information system Meaningful use Public health Return on investment
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