Clinical Case Study Example of Improved Quality, Efficiency and Reduction of Cost
Health Information Exchange (HIE) among physician points of care, hospitals, health plans, and patients has substantially increased as the federal mandate for converting and sharing electronic medical information has gained momentum. Interoperable information exchange has enabled a reduction in the cost of care delivery and has improved physician efficiency. Much of the evidence for this transformation in both quality and cost efficiency lies in the powerful clinical vignettes that abound. A recent survey by the eHealth Initiative included the following findings:
Cost savings resulting from health information exchange were reported by 40 operational initiatives. Cost savings have been identified in a variety of areas, including:
- Reduced staff time spent on handling lab and radiology results (26 operational initiatives).
- Reduced staff time spent on clerical administration and filing (24).
- Decreased dollars spent on redundant tests (17).
- Decreased cost of care for chronic care patients (11).
- Reduced medication errors (10).
Health information exchange has had a positive impact on physician practices, allowing them to become more efficient without disrupting care. Operational initiatives report the following impacts for practices that utilize the exchange
- Improved access to test results and resultant efficiencies on practice (28 operational initiatives).
- Improved quality of practice life (i.e., less hassles looking for information, getting home sooner at the end of the day, etc) (24).
- Reduced staff time spent on handling lab and radiology results (23).
- Reduced staff time spent on clerical administration and filing (22).
This survey also supports the HIE initiative happening today in North Texas SandlotConnect® is a physician-driven, interoperable HIE that went live in December 2008 with the following objectives:
- Real time patient information
- Faster, better, safer patient care
- Fiscally responsible care
- Enhanced physician communication
The experience of our physicians using SandlotConnect would strongly support the eHI survey findings of significant cost savings.