New research out of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University provides insight into the return-on-investment (ROI) conundrum for hospitals that is the adoption of electronic medical record (EMR) systems. According Dranove et al., healthcare systems and organizations can realize the purported cost-savings associated with EMRs so long as sufficient systems and resources are available to complement them.
While so much of the debate surrounding the economics of EMR and electronic health record (EHR) systems focus on the costs of the system themselves, the authors contend that the debate as a whole disregards external forces. According to Dranove et al., these forces are more likely to affect whether an EMR system truly can become form of savings:
Because important business process innovations occur on a large scale, they typically involve a range of investments, both in computing hardware and software, and in communications hardware and software. They also involve retraining of employees, as well as redesign of organizational architecture, such as its hierarchy, lines of control, compensation patterns and oversight norms.