HIT Upgrade

If you're looking at an HIT upgrade, a new vendor or just some new applications, do you know the real costs and the real benefits.

The use of health information technology (HIT) has exploded over the last several years. It is now standard of care in most facilities to use electronic medical records for all patient encounters. In the field of radiology, digital technology has led to x-rays and CT scans being accessed on computers versus the days of the old radiograph being examined on a light box. Furthermore, access of these records is much easier so that all practitioners involved in the care of the patient can readily examine them in secure password protected files.

However, the use of this technology comes at a very high cost in the development of software, and the use of computer hardware and cloud systems for implementation, storage and management.  Furthermore, there is cost in time and training to learn and utilize this technology. A barrier to change in HIT has always been incompatibility among systems, particularly among the industry’s largest players. When a new system is introduced, how can an organization tell if the time and complexity to learn and implement the system is worthwhile. Will a new system significantly increase benefits in the efficiency and the ability to use medical information? Will it impact the cost of use in a significant manner, will it have longevity, may it integrate with future systems?  How can you determine if it is a good decision to implement a new technology or continue with your legacy system and medical records program with ongoing upgrades?

When your organization constructs an RFP for HIT changeover, you ask many questions that go beyond simple cost, data migration, and downtimes. You ask about training, you ask about expansion, you ask about source code access, customizations, and obsolescence.  Will data sets interface or integrate? These are not simple ROI analytics.

The analysis of Broad Data™, using Cost Effectiveness Analysis (CEA), can add much clarity to these questions. Using a decision tree model, various aspects of how the HIT affects patient outcomes and decision making can be analyzed and quantified. Broad Data looks not only at the costs to and for the patient, but also incorporates how the decision impacts the health of the patient. Thus, CEA can assist in computing how best to proceed with information gathering and sharing, and how those decisions will impact the patient. It can quantify subjective feelings about how the HIT is implemented and its usefulness, thereby opening the possibility to have much better-informed decisions.

Healthcare has entered a new age. In some ways technology appears to have taken over healthcare, but cleverly analyzing the best was to do this using Cost Effectiveness Analysis can be of great benefit to patients, providers and organizations.

If your objective is to provide the best decision-making for your organization and take a global view of your business, expanding your sights beyond ROI, and educating other decision-makers, Cost Effectiveness Analysis can make your organization more competitive and more profitable.

William Matzner, MD. is a recognized expert in Healthcare and Neuro Economics. With a Ph.D. in Economics, MBA and Medical Doctor degree, Dr. William Matzner will provide you with expert analysis on health and wellness programming, populations health management, disease management, new program development, facility development, equipment acquisitions, and other healthcare programs, acquisitions and initiatives. For more information about cost effectiveness analysis and improved financial accountability for your organization, visit Dr. Matzner at http://healthcareanalytics.biz. Dr. Matzner is also available for speaking engagements, retreat presentations and topic specific addresses.