What will it cost to do nothing?

Posted on April 8, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Casey Quinlan wrote a really fantastic article about why “What’s the ROI?” is only half the question in healthcare IT. She quickly identifies the real challenge with putting an ROI on an EMR implementation by acknowledging that an ROI discussion quickly leads to a financial discussion. Indeed! The financial side is only have of the EMR ROI question.

I’ve written about the EMR ROI up down backwards and forwards. You have the camp that wants EMR software saying that it provides a great ROI and you have the camp that doesn’t want EMR saying that it doesn’t. The correct answer is that they’re both right. Your EMR ROI is often what you make of it. Not to mention that what you make of it starts with your EMR selection.

In any ROI discussion, I quickly point people to this list of EMR benefits. In EMR presentations, I like to divide that list of benefits into “Guaranteed Benefits,” “Possible Benefits,” and “Debatable Benefits.” In fact, I should probably do the same on that page when I have some free time.

However, Casey, in the article linked above asks a very important additional question, “What will it cost to do nothing?” Then she suggests, “The answer to that question shows the way forward.”