EMR data also being used to improve quality, reduce costs

American Medical News reports that as more facilities switch to electronic medical records (EMR), many are finding an unanticipated benefit of using the data to improve quality at the facility and reduce costs.

According to the article, a recent study released by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that many facilities are using the data collected through their EMRs to help them observe patterns and trends, and use those to improve.  The study, titled Transforming Healthcare through Secondary Use of Health Data, showed that of those hospitals utilizing EMR data 59% have seen quality improvements, 42% have achieved cost savings, 36% have seen patient/member satisfaction improve, and 29% have increased revenue. However, only a small portion of hospitals are using EMR data at this point in this way.

(SOURCES: HCPro Patient Safety Monitor, http://hcpro.com, October 28, 2009; American Medical News, http://ama-assn.org/amednews.com, accessed November 6, 2009)