ROI in Healthcare – Healthcare

With the constantly-rising cost of healthcare and health services, many healthcare organizations are concerned about providing quality and affordable care for their patients, while still being able to make a profit.As with any other business, healthcare organizations are concerned about the return on their investments, or their ROI. Any time a new piece of equipment is purchased, or a new system is adopted, the ROI must be considered.One question that is currently being debated, in terms of its potential ROI, is the adoption of electronic record-keeping systems such as EMRs and EHRs.EMRs, or electronic medical records, are used to store all of a patient’s information in an electronic format, and are designed for use within a single organization where a patient receives long-term care. EHRs (electronic health records) are intended to store a more comprehensive and all-inclusive patient history, and to be shared among several organizations which have access to the system.That way, caregivers always have access to a particular patient’s information (including diagnoses, test results, treatments, etc.), even if they visit multiple providers, without patients and caregivers having to concern themselves with the transfer of paper records.Doctors and hospitals are slow to adopt these systems, however, because there is a high initial investment required; the equipment and software must be purchased, and then they must learn to use the systems.The time and effort spent, by caregivers, on learning the new systems detracts from that which can be spent on patient care, and they must also pay their staff extra for the time they dedicate to mastering the technology.However, despite the large initial investment, the ROI for these systems is high according to many experts, and more organizations are choosing to adopt the technology.The organized and neat format eliminates time wasted trying to locate files and decipher notes that are often nearly illegible; the system can also help to eliminate medical errors, which saves money on malpractice insurance and lawsuits.Unnecessary tests and repetitive treatments can also be avoided, which saves time and effort, but also a great deal of money.Paper records also require a great deal more storage space than electronic systems, and use up a significant amount of supplies, which means that while the initial investment for these systems is low, the cost to maintain them over time can be much higher than many practitioners realize.