Monday, January 14, 2013

The Rand Study and the impact of EHRs on Healthcare Costs

Last week, Rand published a study in Health Affairs (ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: What It Will Take To Achieve The As-Yet-Unfulfilled Promises Of Health Information Technology),  revising its original 2005 healthcare IT cost savings research.

The New York Times wrote about it.

Several publications asked me to comment and here's what I said:

"We're still at an early stage of EHR implementation, healthcare information exchange connectivity, and decision support.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 in 2014 will take us to a new level that will begin to reduce redundancy, over treatment, and waste.

Stage 3 in 2016 will take us even further by enhancing outcomes.

We're on a journey and I have every expectation we'll change the practice of medicine to improve its value (quality/cost).    We're moving as fast as we can to accomplish this and I believe by 2016 we'll realize the improvements we're seeking from the meaningful use foundation we've built.    Expecting significant cost reductions by 2013 is not realistic at this point in the process."

Many people are working tirelessly to implement EHRs, HIEs, and PHRs.   Think of our work like creating the interstate highway system.   Soon we'll be able to drive at high speed from coast to coast.  In the meantime we need to realize that every day gets us closer to our goal.   We need to keep our eyes on the prize and keep building.
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