The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its report on integrated delivery systems (IDSs) in healthcare. The report found that electronic health record systems (EHRs) are able to improve patient care among such IDSs.
Some IDSs said that using EHRs supports their patient care strategies such as care coordination, disease management, and use of care protocols by increasing the availability of individual patient and patient population data and by improving communication among providers.
All 15 IDSs which took part in this study have implemented EHR systems. Mayo Clinic, one of the participants, reported that "the EHR helps avoid overutilization and duplication of services." Several other IDSs reported significant savings because of EHR use, including Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, which reported that its e-prescribing feature reduced "errors related to illegible handwriting and unintentional drug interactions." In addition, Marshfield's EHR requires physicians to consider appropriate "preferred alternatives" for prescription drugs, saving payers and patients $2.5 million in 1 year.
You can find the full report here.
"Health Care Delivery: Features of Integrated Systems Support Patient Care Strategies and Access to Care, but Systems Face Challenges," U.S. Government Accountability Office, GAO-11-49 November 16, 2010.