“We analyzed whether more computerized hospitals had lower costs of care or administration, or better quality,” the authors wrote.
The results: “Hospitals on the ‘Most Wired’ list performed no better than others on quality, costs, or administrative costs.”
Himmelstein’s study is the second this week that disputes the benefits of EMR.
Does this surprise anyone? Disappointing, of course. Right now EMRs exist as siloed, tethered pockets of data and are being utilized primarily as an expensive, poorly designed, digital cousin of the paper record kept by most physicians.
Cost, quality and improved care will follow when these systems are better designed, OPEN SOURCE, more affordable, inter-operable and connected on a nationwide level. Then the API developer community will see to it that the data can be scrubbed and analyzed in a manner that can benefit everyone.
Also, don’t forget that medical data must be web accessible to the patient and follow the patient no matter where they go in the United States to receive care.