Immunizations – Another ROI Case for EHR

Wall Street Journal Article Recommends Adult Immunizations – Between the Lines it Also Makes the ROI Case for EHR

A July 9 article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Get Your Shots: Adults Need Vaccines Too” makes another case for EHR return on investment (ROI).  The article is about the negative health consequences of adults failing to maintain their immunizations and take advantage of new immunizations; and these are valid health concerns.  However, I raise immunizations as an ROI issue as well.  Because, while many physicians believe an EHR may help them provide better medical care, cost of EHR adoption remains a major barrier.  However, EHR is not only about reducing expenses for medical record related costs but also about enhancing revenue.

A good EHR will allow practices to maintain recommended immunizations by age range and adjust those recommendations as needed for a particular patient.  A good EHR will also remind the nurse and/or physician every time a patient presents (i.e., their chart is opened) if there are any past due health maintenance items for the patient, including immunizations.

Finding this information in paper charts is almost impossible and so, in the paper world, most adults don’t receive immunizations unless the patient requests it or there is a circumstance that begs the question – to the patient, not to the chart – “When was the last time you had a tetanus shot?”

A good EHR will impress the patient with better medical care – and just might save them from a miserable illness – and will add income to the practice by providing reminders regarding billable care.

– Cathy Huddle, VP Market Development