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Brothers and Sisters in Healthcare, that day is coming, the day when subsidies for electronic medical records (EMRs) will cease and EMRs will have to prove to be a wise investment by the provider community.   Gone will be the time when the sole focus is on meaningful use of medical records and the cold steely eye of the CFO will be searching for tangible return on investment after the millions and billions of dollars spent on installation and tuning of these complex medical information systems.

We are rapidly entering a time of value realization for the most transformational work flow change in the history of inpatient care.  EMR systems must prove their value in two ways: (1) providing a unified view and access to the patient data, and (2) generating valuable information about what actually works in the patient treatment process.   Since most of the patient population didn’t come with owners’ manuals when they were born, the ‘right’ way to treat them can only spring from analysis of historical data about effective treatments.   What’s more, we can determine what works for the tribe and what works only for certain individuals.   Just as the NASA moonshot spun-off consumer progress, the digitization of medical records will spin off better ways to improve the health of the herd.

So we now begin the Age of Analytics in healthcare.   It will be business intelligence that generates the insight needed to equalize the cost benefit equation in US healthcare.  Judgment day will occur at different times and in different places, but inevitably hospital boardrooms filled with reasonable people and local townsfolk have to ask the hard questions about the “too-big-to-fail” EMR investment.   It is only through pursuit of the next step – using the data for improvement – that a return on investment will be seen.  

For more information about Healthcare Analytics, attend the panel discussion:  “Drive High-Quality, Cost-Effective Care through Greater Analytical Insight” at SAPPHIRE NOW 2013, May 14-16.  Learn more about the future of healthcare technology and register today.

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