So I think we are going to realize even more cost savings. You certainly would think as the people who work in hospitals become more comfortable with these systems we are going to see some true gains there.
HLM: How do you think ICD-10 will affect savings?
ASK: It is going to depend upon how well prepared the hospitals are and how smooth the transition is with the EHR systems. In some ways that makes it more complex for these EHRs. I didn't necessarily consider that in this study but I could see how it presents an additional challenge, especially for hospitals that are trying to implement and adopt and then make another change because of ICD-10.
HLM: What is the next big question to answer about EHR?
AKS: We need to continue to look at the cost and the quality of the care associated with EHR and we need to look at individual organizations and do system evaluations to see how well the EHRs themselves are working.
We need to look at a national sample which has been unusual in the research to date. That is why there has been so much interest in this study. A lot of studies out there just look at single hospitals and that doesn't tell you much, especially when this is such a national issue.