Reviewing the Benefits and Costs of Electronic Health Records and Associated Patient

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Return on investment (ROI) is a major concert and obstacle for widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), computerized physician order entry (CPOE), and clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) for healthcare providers. Therefore, a systematic investigation about ROI through both case studies and systematic literature reviews may provide critical insights into issues and challenges related to the implementation and adoption of these health information technology (HIT).


The following article reported the findings about benefits and costs related to the implementation of aforementioned HIT. The existing studies have limitations due to its main focus on benefits other than systematic analysis of ROI as a whole. This trend is the early base of our knowledge, which provides limited information and knowledge as to how HIT could affect quality of care and patient safety while generating potentially compelling benefits in terms of ROI as a whole. To better understand how HIT could help achieve desired outcomes and ROI in the healthcare settings, a study with utilizing broader perspectives and multidisciplinary techniques is needed to generate essential knowledge and applicable strategies [1].


Challenges in measuring ROI

  • it is difficult to measure its financial impact.
  • Inconsistence of payments between reimbursements to care providers and improvement of care quality and patient safety.
  • It is difficult to measure benefits of HIT.

ROI studies of health IT

Costs and benefits of patient safety related IT [1].

1. EHR
EHR costs
  • Hardware and software
  • Implementation
  • Training and support
  • Temporary reduction in staff productivity
EHR benefits
  • Improved charge capture
  • Decreased billing errors
  • Improved cash flow
  • Enhanced revenue
  • Reduced supply and printing costs
  • Improved utilization of tests
  • Reduced transcription costs
  • Improved productivity over time
  • Improved data availability
  • Reduced staffing and recruitment costs
  • Improved Quality
  • Improved patient safety
  • Improved patient education
  • Improved coordination of care
  • Improved legal and regulatory compliance
  • Improved ability to conduct research
  • Improved business relationships
CPOE costs
  • Hardware and software
  • Implementation
  • Training and support
CPOE benefits
  • Medical error reduction
  • Drug interaction checking
  • Improved compliance with formularies and dosing guidelines
  • Improved charge capture
  • Improved workflow and productivity
  • Standardization of ordering process and decreased redundancy
  • Ability to customization
  • Improved smartification among patients and clinicians
  • Reduction of paper-based processes
  • Improved reimbursement rates
3. CDSSs
CDSS costs
  • Software
  • Training and support
CDSS benefits
  • Reduction of length of stay (LOS)
  • Decreased drug costs
  • Improved preventive care
  • Improved drug administration
  • Decreased medication errors
  • Decreased time needed for ordering appropriate treatment


The information available from previous literature reports is mainly derived from case studies. Due to lack of comprehensive studies in this filed, our knowledge is still limited. Therefore, systematic studies that intend to address the challenges and related benefits and ROI as a whole are needed to establish our complete knowledge base for utilizing HIT in practice.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Menachemi, N., & Brooks, R. G. (2006). Reviewing the benefits and costs of electronic health records and associated patient safety technologies. Journal of Medical Systems, 30(3), 159–168.