Do the Benefits of Electronic Medical Records Outweigh the Costs?
Every investment decision involves measuring and weighing the costs against the perceived benefits of selecting a certain technology or process. This helps ensure that a business has made the right decision and not just simply thrown their money at something only to find that the process or technology did not solve a problem or generate a new competitive advantage to earn them more money.
For medical offices, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations dealing with medical records and release of information (ROI), there has to be a certain ROI (return on investment) for deciding that the benefits of electronic medical records outweigh the costs.
Weighing in on the Costs and Benefits of Electronic Medical Records
In first considering the costs of electronic medical records, there are a few to mention:
- The technology
- Training of staff to use the technology
- Upgrades as the technology advances
Changing over an entire medical records system, especially if it is a large one, can be an expensive proposition. Even small businesses like a medical practice may not have the available resources to take on such a considerable technology investment. However, when weighed against the benefits, the cost may not be that high:
- Reduction in risk exposure and liability due to security breaches and human errors;
- Higher productivity rates, which provides a way to scale up and take on greater volume for increased revenue;
- Lower costs associated with automating the medical records process due to less labor and time needed by staff; and
- The ability to focus on the core business, which is the main channel for business sustainability and growth.
These benefits of electronic medical records really can outweigh the costs in both the short and long terms compared to that of migrating to a new process. Better yet is the idea that these benefits could be enjoyed without having to make a sizable investment. This is possible by partnering with an outsource firm that specializes in the medical records industry and already has the technology in place to do the work while you reap the benefits without the significant costs.
Here is a summary of the costs and benefits associated with electronic medical records:
- Technology adoption, training, and upgrades can be expensive.
- The benefits include lower mistakes, risk, liability and costs along with increased productivity, revenue gains, and focus on the core business.
- Partnering with an outsource company that caters solely to the medical industry means that the benefits truly do outweigh the costs because a company can enjoy the benefits of the technology without outlaying money to use the technology.
Fig Gungor is CEO of OneSource Document Management, a New York based company that offers a broad range of customized copy and scanning services that translate into a significant savings for insurance companies, hospitals and large medical facilities.