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It Ain't Necessarily So: The Electronic Health Record And The Unlikely Prospect Of Reducing Health Care Costs

It Ain't Necessarily So: The Electronic Health Record And The Unlikely Prospect Of Reducing Health Care Costs

Health Affairs 25(4): 1079-1085

Electronic health record (EHR) advocates argue that EHRs lead to reduced errors and reduced costs. Many reports suggest otherwise. The EHR often leads to higher billings and declines in provider productivity with no change in provider-to-patient ratios. Error reduction is inconsistent and has yet to be linked to savings or malpractice premiums. As interest in patient-centeredness, shared decision making, teaming, group visits, open access, and accountability grows, the EHR is better viewed as an insufficient yet necessary ingredient. Absent other fundamental interventions that alter medical practice, it is unlikely that the U.S. health care bill will decline as a result of the EHR alone.

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Accession: 049425912

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 16835189

DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.25.4.1079

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