Some Unexpected Benefits and Rewards from an Electronic Medical Record

I just returned from Chicago where I had the pleasure to speak to more than 75 healthcare executives at the Allscripts Annual Users Summit. Of course, in many ways I was speaking to the proverbial choir. Most of the CEOs and other executives attending the Summit came from leading healthcare organizations that have already implemented electronic medical records. None-the-less, it was terrific to learn about some of the significant and sometimes unexpected rewards these clinics are realizing after going digital. Besides the usual reports of improved quality and safety, some of these Allscripts customers were enjoying a much improved bottom line.

One of the greatest contributors in that regard was for clinics taking advantage of a solution module that identifies possible candidates for clinical trials and facilitates enrollment and clinical trial management. Some organizations were reaping millions of dollars in new revenues from that solution alone.

Another benefit of the EMR was improved communication and collaboration capabilities between providers and their patients. Not only does this help facilitate information sharing and care processes, it is actually helping some clinics combat a growing trend; independent disease management firms coming between the doctors and the patients they care for. More than one executive told me how having an EMR and the associated communication and collaboration technologies is helping them negotiate for, secure, and provide chronic disease management services for their own patients that might have otherwise been outsourced to someone else. Patients are happier, and physicians are maintaining their place at the center of care.

If you have positive EMR experiences you'd like to share, I'm sure our readers would appreciate hearing from you.

Bill Crounse, MD Healthcare Industry Director Microsoft Healthcare & Life Sciences