The Intangible Benefits of Going Electronic via EMRs

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The detractors of EMR technology have over the years adopted many routes in order to belittle the importance of patient medical records doing digital.  Their most powerful line of attack has been the argument that there have been no noteworthy studies which indicated that information technology ultimately reduces costs in the long run.

They reckon that whatever studies undertaken thus far, only focussed on the initial costs of the various components purchased, and made no efforts in comparing those costs vis-a-vis the actual savings realized after its implementation. Although there may be a bit of truth to this argument, one must also ultimately be aware of the fact that not all EMR benefits have tangible manifestations in the financial workbooks, and that many of its benefits embrace intangible sectors.

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The flaw in the above argument is that simplified ROI studies do not do justice to the healthcare sector, and the returns of healthcare initiatives are more than the just the amount of money saved. One must look at the holistic picture.  The intangible benefits of going electronic include the below:

  1. Enhanced patient safety.
  2. Enhanced quality of care.
  3. Better provider-patient relationships.
  4. Better streamlining of internal workflows resulting in improved medical billing and medical coding outcomes (this does save a lot of money).
  5. Innovation, which in turn drives progress?
  6. Better understanding of the medical afflictions affecting a segment of the population.

Also, the very same detractors highlight that the initial and operating costs of EMR technology are $1 million and $2.5 million per annum respectively, and thus there is nothing cheap about the whole implementation.  They argue that enjoying ROI on such huge investments would take years and there is always an element of risk that the initiative may end up in failure.

If one looked at the above figures closely, it becomes apparent that the above numbers stand true only for huge hospitals whose operating costs anyways runs in millions of dollars.  For a small clinic, with the prevalent cloud-based technologies, it is very much feasible to contain the operating costs of an EMR to a very meagre $99 per physician per month.

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So, the next time you hear a tirade about the futility of adopting IT measures in healthcare, please be sure to direct the originator of the argument to our blog here at

Also, you can call Steve, our EMR consultant at 1-(888)-571-9069 for a detailed discussion about the nuances of implementing an EMR.

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