Monday, January 21, 2013

In Second Look, Few Savings From Digital Health Records

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 toa new analysis by the influential RAND Corporation.
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Dr. Alvin Rajkomar tracks patient data on a Samsung Galaxy Note. A new report questions whether electronic records reduce health care costs.
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.
“We’ve not achieved the productivity and quality benefits that are unquestionably there for the taking,” said Dr. Arthur L. Kellermann, one of the authors of a reassessment by RAND that was published in this month’s edition of Health Affairs, an academic journal.

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