Computerized patient records benefit physician offices.Healthc Financ Manage. 1997 Sep; 51(9):68-70.HF
The use of computerized patient record systems in ambulatory settings is still a relatively new concept; however, such systems offer a variety of benefits to physician practices. Computerized patient record systems can help improve the quality of care provided, for example, by providing real-time patient status reports, test results as soon as they are available, and graphs and flowsheets of test trends. They can help reduce costs by eliminating many manual functions and the supply and staff expenses associated with these functions. Finally, they can provide practices the data necessary to attract and negotiate favorable managed care contracts. Because computerized patient record technology is still new, substantive empirical evidence upon which to base payback calculations is scarce. Time and motion studies were conducted at a model five-physician, primary care clinic to determine where efficiencies and cost savings could be realized through the use of a computerized patient record system. In addition, actual and anecdotal information from several clinics of comparable size that have such systems was used to reach some preliminary conclusions. Findings suggest that computerized patient record systems may return productivity gains and help physicians attain their patient care and financial goals.