The Return on Investment for Long Term Care EHR and Home Care EHR
Beyond improvements in patient care, why make the move to an Electronic Health Record? Why make the investment of time and resources to capture data already on paper or in various systems around the facility or agency?
These are questions that require detailed answers. To simply respond with “Because it’s the wave of the future!” is not a suitable answer. The response to this question is one that requires thought, research, and insight. It is one that speaks of the need for a properly calculated Return on Investment, or ROI.
When calculating an ROI, there are three specific areas that must be considered. Industry proven savings, product or vendor specific savings, and intangible benefits must all be calculated.
These ROI items are the items most long term and home care providers can easily identify. Increased employee satisfaction with a CNA or Clinician is invaluable. The ability to access a single record for all information on a patient or resident is an additional benefit. These intangible benefits should be provided in any Return on Investment for EHR, however, these are not typically the items that make the decision to move to EHR completely valid.
Industry Proven Savings:
For any properly designed long term care EHR or home care EHR, there are commonly accepted time and cost savings that can be expected from the implementation of the system. For example, the Institute of Medicine Analysis reports 1.5 million injuries due to errors at a cost of $3.5 billion annually. Medication errors are reduced with the use of any long-term care EHR or home care EHR.
Time spent completing an MDS assessment in long term care can range from 60 to 100+ minutes. Properly designed EHR solutions automatically complete the MDS assessment to help lower or eliminate the time spent completing these items.
Product or Vendor Specific Savings:
The true savings and ROI for a long term care EHR or home care EHR comes in the form of product or vendor specific savings. When speaking to EHR software vendors, it is appropriate to ask for a proven return on investment of their solution. These vendors take the time and make the effort to evaluate their solutions with their client base to find the costs and time savings of their solution. Many times these vendors will also compile an ROI for your organization including the industry proven savings statistics. This helps to alleviate the research and calculation burden on you to produce these items.
As an example, HealthMEDX clients have reported and have been evaluated to find savings including 93% decrease in order entry time, 69% decrease in outstanding orders, and a 48% reduction in medication errors. These time and risk savings have added up to significant monetary savings for these clients.
A return on investment for long term care EHR and home care EHR is not as complicated as some may believe. Through proper interaction with your EHR vendor and evaluation of the savings your specific organization can expect, the Return on Investment time frame for an EHR purchase can be measured and utilized to properly justify your move to EHR!