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Study shows possible financial pluses to mobile health

July 15, 2013
Healthcare IT By LW Consulting Inc.

Practices of any size should investigate the practical, quantifiable results that can be expected from an advanced, electronic record initiative. While there may be costs to convert, the overall benefits might justify them, according to a recent study.

A Sacramento-based research initiative sought to determine the overall impact of telemedicine by looking at the effects in certain areas. In the abstract accompanying the study, the researchers describe the effects they discovered.

"The average number of patients transferred per year to the children's hospital increased from 143 pre-telemedicine to 285 post-telemedicine," the abstract reads. "From these patients, the average hospital revenue increased from $2.4 million to $4.0 million per year, and the average professional billing revenue increased from $313,977 to $688,443 per year." 

The information was gathered from 16 separate locations, and the specific telemedicine programs that were taken into consideration were those implemented over the course of a seven-year period. The abstract also states that more than 2,000 children changed hospitals during the course of this examination.

Although this once again shouldn't be the sole reason providers start communicating with their patients via these technologies, the financial benefits can serve as evidence of the tangible results that might help persuade certain practitioners of health IT's necessity. Even if the implementation takes time, it can be helpful to use this sort of information as a model for a reachable goal. 

A hospital consultant can thus provide more than just support during the adoption of a specific record system: they can be helpful in considering the future of a practice, and improving the quality of care administered to patients.