A new report suggests that while the use of electronic health records systems may lead to lower mortality rates for certain conditions, the new technology does not save hospitals money or reduce patient complications, according to the Arizona Republic.
Researchers at the Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business looked at 326 hospitals in California and found that digital health records did not save money and did not reduce patient complications. Participating hospitals, did however, note improved mortality rates, according to the study published in the journal Health Services Research.
In addition, less-advanced EHR adoption was associated with 15 percent to 26 percent higher registered nurse hours per day and lower licensed vocational nurse costs by 2 percent to 4 percent, according to the study.
The study further concluded that hospitals with more advanced EHR implementations experienced better results, leading researchers to assume that cost savings could improve at hospitals over time.
ASU professor Raghu Santanam, one of the researchers who conducted the study, said in an interview with the Arizona Republic that change is bound to take time.
“We may not see improvements in the next few years, but eventually we will see the benefits,” he said.