Wiggins RE, et al. Ophthalmology. 2015;doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2015.06.036.

July 23, 2015
1 min read

Electronic health records may improve financial returns, workflow efficiency


Wiggins RE, et al. Ophthalmology. 2015;doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2015.06.036.

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The use of electronic health records may result in significant financial returns and workflow efficiency for practices, according to a report.

The prospective financial analysis evaluated data that affected cash flows relevant to the implementation of EHRs at Asheville Eye Associates, N.C., over a 5-year span. The practice consisted of 10.8 full-time equivalent providers.

In the first month of implementation, seven providers started using EHRs, which resulted in a schedule reduction of 0.41 patients per day over the first year of EHR use.

There were no changes in schedules during years 2 to 4.

In year 5, there was a net annual increase of 1.23 patients per day in productivity for all providers, which was attributed to an increase in EHR familiarity and a greater number of returning patients, which reduced the number of new data entries.

The biggest positive cash flow was related to the net reduction in staffing of medical records, transcription, billing, check-out and appointment scheduling, the report said.

The payback period was 2 years 10 months. The internal rate of return on investment was 41%.

“It will be important that vendor software upgrades facilitate and future regulatory requirements related to EHR minimize impacts on productivity to avoid negatively impacting the return on investment for practitioners,” the authors said. by Kristie L. Kahl

Disclosure: Wiggins reports he receives site visit fees from Allscripts.