Billions in savings forecast for EHR-medical device interoperability

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 1, 2013

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The U.S. could save more than $30 billion annually if medical devices had better interoperability, according to a study by the West Health Institute, a medical research organization.

Linking medical devices to electronic health records could save the U.S. $17.8 billion by reducing hospital stays; $12.3 billion from increased clinician productivity; $3 billion by lowering the cost of care; $2 billion by reducing adverse events; and $1.2 billion from wider adoption of interoperability standards, according to the report’s findings, presented March 20 by Joseph M. Smith, MD, PhD, chief medical and science officer of WHI, at the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health.

The report said only a third of hospitals that use six or more medical devices capable of being integrated with EHRs have them linked to the electronic records. Dr. Smith said WHI was trying to show hospitals the value of integrating those devices.

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