Putting a local focus on report released last year, the California Healthcare Foundation today said the introduction in the ambulatory care setting of electronic systems in support of ordering medications, diagnostic tests and other patient care services would save the state $4 billion a year and reduce nearly 250,000 medication related injuries a year.
The foundation contracted with the Wellesely, Mass.-based Center for Information Technology Leadership to produce the California-focused study.
In February 2003, the CITL released its first national research report, concluding high-end ambulatory computerized physician order entry systems could prevent 2 million U.S. adverse drug events a year, including 130,000 life-threatening events annually, and save the country's healthcare system $44 billion a year in reduced medication, radiology, lab and ADE-linked costs.
To gain maximum effectiveness, the CITL concluded, the systems would have to have built-in decision support technology equivalent to that found in the higher quality -- and higher cost -- electronic medical records systems. At the time, the report suggested clinics and practices should plan to spend up to $29,000 per doctor to install and up to $12,000 a year to maintain a top-end ambulatory CPOE system.
The latest report for California estimates providers would save about $29,000 a year in expenses by installing these systems, which would help providers avoid causing about nine adverse drug events each year.
"We are very excited to show that the impact of advanced CPOE could have huge benefits for the state and its residents," said Blackford Middleton, M.D., CITL chairman. "We hope the marketplace there recognizes this opportunity to transform care with technology."
The report, "Patient Safety in the Physician's Office: Assessing the Value of Ambulatory CPOE," looks at the clinical, financial, and organizational benefits of adopting ACPOE in California.
Visit chcf.org for more information.