Will EMRs Save $80 Billion a Year?

Yes, according to President Obama. No, according to this review of the literature:

  • In a study of orthopedic surgeons, those using handheld PDAs had seven times as many errors as their paper-based cohorts.
  • A study of 15,000 heart patients found EMRs produced little improvement in the quality of care.
  • A study of 1.8 billion ambulatory care visits found EMRs produced no improvement in the quality of care.
  • A Canadian review of more than 3,700 on the use of EMRs in primary care found no solid evidence of either benefits or drawbacks for patients.

Comments (4)

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  1. Bruce says:

    I don’t believe I’ve seen one crdible example, anywhere, where electronic medicla records has ever saved anyone any money. Am I wrong?

  2. Sally M. says:

    Bruce, the only examples I’ve seen are at this web site and they all involve providers initiating EMRs on their own as part of a nontraditional business model.

    Examples: walk-in clinics, telephone and e-mail services (such as Teladoc), concierge doctors, medical tourist destinations abroad, etc.

  3. Ken says:

    There are other places where EMRs are used. The question is: are they economical? Do the save enough to cover their costs.

  4. Bart says:

    Like my pappy used to say, “If it was that easy, it would have been done a long time ago.”