Level of EHR Adoption and Quality and Cost of Care – Evidence from Vascular Conditions and Procedures

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This study examined relationships of electronic health record (EHR) adoption to both the cost of care and quality outcomes in the acute care hospital setting. Data were mainly obtained from the 2009 National Inpatient Sample and the 2009 American Hospital Association EHR implementation survey. Two sets of dependent variables were identified. The first set included quality indicators of five cardiovascular and three cerebrovascular conditions and procedures. The second set included cost of care for the eight quality indicators. The independent variables were levels of EHR adoption. The results did not identify many differences in quality indicators across levels of EHR adoption, but consistently showed that patients in hospitals with EHR systems incurred lower costs than patients in hospitals without a comprehensive or basic EHR system. It was concluded that EHR adoption is more likely to be associated with the cost of patient care than improving quality indicators and clinical outcomes.