The Cost-Benefit Calculation Of Electronic Health Records Systems

Gienna Shaw | FierceHealthIT | August 19, 2013

It's discouraging to read that more than half of physicians say the costs of electronic health records systems outweigh the financial benefits. But it's also heartening to see that, in the survey of 1,200 employed and independent physicians, most agree the benefits to patient care do justify the investment.

Reminds me of the much-spoofed MasterCard commercial: Electronic health records system: $15,000 to $70,000. Patient safety and quality: Priceless.

And, oh, if only an EHR system really was a mere $70K. There's more to the cost than the initial investment in hardware and software--a lot more. There's training costs, loss of productivity as clinicians and other staff learn new systems. There's IT staff to hire. And don't forget ongoing maintenance and the inevitable updates to buy and install.