Cost-effectiveness analysis of a hospital electronic medication management system

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This is a review of Westbrook, Johanna , Gospodarevskaya, Elena, 2014 article in Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMA), “Cost-effectiveness analysis of a hospital electronic medication management system”. [1]


This study was conducted to perform a "cost–effectiveness analysis of a hospital Electronic Medication Management System (eMMS)." [1] They are trying to find out if eMMS implementation will add financial benefits to the hospital.


Authors compared benefits and costs of paper-based prescribing with eMMS (CSC Chart) on a cardiology nursing unit in a 326-bed teaching hospital. Analysis on eMMS effectiveness in preventing Adverse Drug Events (ADEs) were based 1202 total pt charts, 801 prior and 401 post eMMS implementation. [1]

The following is the decision analytic model used in this study: Image of Decision Analytic Model


eMMS implementation resulted to an ADE rate of 0.05 from 0.17 per admission. It demonstrated a potential ADE reduction of 71%. An actual ADE reduction of 80 per yr for this particular nursing unit was observed amounting to about $97 740 to $102 000 annual savings. This is more than sufficient enough to cover the eMMS implementation/operating costs of $55 296 per yr. Therefore, eMMS implementation did show a significant financial benefit in one nursing unit and will possible add up if implemented in the rest of the nursing units. [1]


This study proves that not all implementation of electronic HIT-related system is expensive; yes it requires investment on the beginning but there is a potential Return On Investment (ROI) when implementation is carefully planned and system is being optimized. In addition, increased patient safety is evident on the reduced ADEs, thus providing better quality patient care.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Westbrook, Johanna , Gospodarevskaya, Elena, Cost-effectiveness analysis of a hospital electronic medication management system. Jornal of the American Medical Informatics Assoc. 2014.