The conversion to electronic health records has failed so far to produce the hoped-for savings in health care costs and has had mixed results, at best, in improving efficiency and patient care, according to a new analysis by the influential RAND Corporation.
Optimistic predictions by RAND in 2005 helped drive explosive growth in the electronic records industry and encouraged the federal government to give billions of dollars in financial incentives to hospitals and doctors that put the systems in place.
1. If you were recommending one of these systems for a healthcare facility would you use the original RAND study in your cost benefit analysis knowing it had been paid for by companies that provide these systems?
2. If you were senior management at a firm that had adopted one of these electronic records systems how much time would you allow for a system that was not living up to its promised saving and efficiency improvements before scrapping it and looking for a new system?
3. Should the government take this level of involvement in encouraging companies to upgrade their systems, through the use of stimulus money and passing new laws requiring companies to upgrade their systems?