Proving IT’s worth within a healthcare reimbursement model
We find the same concerns when consulting on new EHR installations. Due to the reimbursement structure in healthcare, it is extremely difficult to tie either increased revenue or decreased costs directly to IT projects. For example, automation of a physician's practice does not necessarily mean that it will become more efficient, have lower costs or increased revenue. Often, it may have the opposite effect. Practices often need to decrease their patient schedule to accommodate an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) implementation, and they can lose revenue in the process. Technology implementations often add time to a practice or departmental workflow. However, IT can provide substantial benefits in the patient health outcomes and decreased costs to another care delivery group downstream. Better patient care may result in decreased hospital admissions, thereby rewarding the hospital for achieving quality measures when changes made in the primary care physician network may be the reason. To the patient, having information on an EMR may save his or her life.