Physicians concerned about costs of EHR use

The implementation of an electronic health records system for patients could cost each physician practice as much as $120,000, according to a new survey by CDW Healthcare.

Moreover, physicians are concerned that implementing EHRs could create a potential drain on practice revenue. On average, those surveyed believe using EHRs means patient encounters could drop by 10 percent in the first year, cutting revenue by $100,000. Some 40 percent of those surveyed say their revenue could fall as much as 25 percent.

Survey participants also expressed concern about the time expended training staff and workflow readjustments.

"Survey responses indicate that physicians are worried about the costs of hardware and software components when they should focus on implementing a complete solution that reduces the time lost to workflow changes," said Bob Rossi, vice president of CDW Healthcare. "While a typical practice will have a greater investment than expected, the payoff will be significant."

Although CDW estimated that revenue could drop by as much as $101,250 in the first year, it concluded that the payoff in efficiencies will outweigh any initial expenditures. It estimated that patient encounters could rise as much as 30 percent due to new workflow efficiencies, and that practices could gain as much as $151,000 per physician per year in new revenue.

For more:
- here's the CDW press release
- read the Healthcare Finance News article
- read the Information Week article