Researchers Propose Model for Determining ROI for EHRs

A collaboration between the Institute of Medicine's Digital Learning Collaborative and members of the Healthcare Financial Management Association has led to a new model for determining the return on investment from electronic health record systems.

The model aims to quantify both the costs and the benefits of an EHR. Expenses are identified by duration, initial or ongoing, and by category, including productivity loss, staffing and consulting costs, technology costs, maintenance and training.

Benefits are classified by core strategic goals, including improved clinical performance, reduced overhead costs, improved operational performance, improved resource allocation and support of clinical trials. These benefits include both those directly and indirectly attributed to the new EHR system.

A spreadsheet with the proposed model can be found here.

"We hope this model provides a useful reference for providers, policymakers, product vendors and researchers, among others," said author Jonathan Perlin, MD, CMO of Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America, in a Health Affairs article on the new model. "Even more, we hope this model sharpens the business case for EHR implantation and advanced information technologies that improve the safety, quality and efficiency of healthcare and foster a learning health system."

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