EMR Cost: Is It Really Worth It?

Marie Westerhof

Marie Westerhof

Posted on September 19, 2011

EMR systems are expensive, because it’s a highly technical application that requires extensive ongoing support and maintenance. An EMR company sees every sector of their business as a possible revenue generator.
From the EMR company’s standpoint, they generally don’t want to play with other companies. They usually have their own patient portal or practice management application, so why interface with others – it could lose the company valuable revenue! So you need to pay to play. Access fees for interfacing with an EMR systems are generally low priorities and therefore charged at a higher rate than standard programming. These often exceed $10,000.. This is a corporate barrier to entry.
The Numbers
Now you see how this interface business adds up! However, the numbers never lie. Is it financially worth it for your practice to invest in an interface?
Let’s assume it takes a worker 10 minutes to print out an electronic medical record and have it ready for pickup by the patient. If there are 900 requests for records a year, that is 150 hours per year on medical records! If the worker costs $20/hr, that is $3,000 dollars a year! Now the costs of not having a patient portal are adding up!.  In year five you have spent $15,000 on distributing medical records.
Now let’s assume that it takes 3 minutes for a worker to upload a patient’s current electronic medical record into a patient portal. If we still had the same 900 requests per year, it’s only 45 hours. If the worker costs $20/hr, that is $900 dollars a year.  This saves $2,100 a year.  In year five you have saved $10,500 compared to paper records.
Other Benefits of The Health Care Web Portal

  • Request their prescriptions online without calling the office
  • Pay their bills online, thus reducing collections and mailing of statements
  • Fewer calls to the office during peak hours
  • Get their medical records online instead of calling the office and asking for a fax or hard copy
  • Pay for eConsultations when patients are traveling or would not normally come in for an office visit
  • Allow the practice to receive advertising revenue from pharmaceutical companies or lab companies

Article By Ted Epstein, Director Of Sales at Medical Web Experts
Read more about EMR/Patient Portal interfaces.


Marie Westerhof

Marie Westerhof

Marie is the Director of Marketing at Medical Web Experts, and has over 10 years of experience in the development and execution of digital marketing campaigns for healthcare organizations. She also heads complex medical writing projects for healthcare networks, hospitals, large physician groups, and independent physician practices.

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