Case study: EMR paid for itself in 16 months

Sure, this study might be worth taking with a grain of salt, as the vendor behind the project profiled is taking a large hand in promoting the case. But it's still worthy to note that the University of Rochester Medical Center, N.Y., seems to have made a significant financial success of its ambulatory EMR system. The system, which was installed by Allscripts, was used in five ambulatory offices representing 28 health care providers. The study, which was published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, looked at the costs of conducting several standard functions, including chart pulls, creating new charts, time to file charts, as well support staff salary. Researchers compared numbers from the third quarter of 2005, after the system as installed, to costs in the third quarter of 2003 when tasks were still being doing by hand.

The new system seems to have been able to reduce costs by nearly $394,000 per year, with almost two-thirds of those savings coming from a speedup in the time needed to manually pull charts. Because the EMR system cost $484,577 to install an operate in the first year, that meant that the medical center recouped its costs within 16 months.  Over the longer haul, the system cost about $114,000 per year to operate, a savings of more than $279,500 for the medical center.

To learn more about the EMR installation:
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