"It's hard or nearly impossible to justify the investment needed for a state-of-the-art EHR with hard-dollar savings," says the CFO of an academic health system. "You have to look beyond that to the intangible benefits, the improvements in delivery of care and positioning your organization to be competitive in the future."
>> Slideshow: HealthLeaders Media
As healthcare finance leaders know, preparing for a successful future in the new era of population health management and value-based reimbursement models requires the installation and integration of an electronic health record and other sophisticated IT systems. But achieving a return on these multi-million dollar investments is not easy—and often not possible—if viewed in strictly monetary terms.
Several chief financial officers spoke on this topic at a roundtable discussion I moderated at HealthLeaders' recent CFO Exchange in Colorado Springs, CO, and there was strong consensus that finding the value in IT systems entails looking beyond the bottom line.
Rick Hinds, executive vice president and CFO at UC Health in Cincinnati says his organization measures the success of its IT initiatives in several ways, including qualifying for meaningful use dollars, integrating ambulatory and inpatient records, improving safety and quality through the use of computerized physician order entry and bar code medicine administration, increasing utilization of best practices, and improving clinician and patient satisfaction.