Computerizing Medical Records Could Save $81 Billion Annually and Improve the Quality of Medical Care
Sep 13, 2005
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This report is one of several that document a broad, two-year study by RAND Health to better understand the role and importance of Electronic Medical Record Systems (EMR-S) in improving health and reducing healthcare costs, and to help inform government actions that could maximize EMR-S benefits and increase its use. It provides the technical details and results of one component of that study that analyzes interventions in the healthcare system that use EMR-S to affect patient trajectories — i.e., the sequence of encounters a patient has with the healthcare system. The interventions are to improve patient safety, increase preventive services, expand chronic disease management, and foster healthier lifestyles.
We identified four classes of trajectory-changing interventions and we selected some important interventions in each class:
We estimated the effects of each intervention on healthcare utilization (e.g., hospital stays, office visits, prescription drug use), healthcare expenditures, and population health outcomes (workdays or schooldays missed, days spent sick in bed, mortality). These interventions generally affect trajectories by improving health and thereby reducing healthcare utilization, or by reducing a costly form of utilization (e.g., inpatient stays) and increasing a more economical form (e.g., office visits to physicians, or prescription medications).
The report should be of interest to healthcare IT professionals, other healthcare executives and researchers, and officials in the government responsible for health policy.
Building the Trajectory Database from the MEPS
Interpreting MEPS-Based Estimates
Avoiding Adverse Drug Events Through Computerized Physician Order Entry
Short-Term Effects of Preventive Services
Management of Chronic Diseases
Estimating Long-Term Effects of Healthy Behavior on Population Health Status and Healthcare
The Patient’s Role in Disease Management and Lifestyle Changes
Realizing the Potential
The research described in this report was conducted within RAND Health and sponsored by a consortium of private companies, including Cerner Corporation, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, and Xerox.
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