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Health Serv Res. 2012 Dec;47(6):2137-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2012.01427.x. Epub 2012 May 11.

Cost-effectiveness of an electronic medical record based clinical decision support system.

Author information

1
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine,University of California-San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0622, USA. tgilmer@ucsd.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:

Medical groups have invested billions of dollars in electronic medical records (EMRs), but few studies have examined the cost-effectiveness of EMR-based clinical decision support (CDS). This study examined the cost-effectiveness of EMR-based CDS for adults with diabetes from the perspective of the health care system.

DATA SOURCES/SETTING:

Clinical outcome and cost data from a randomized clinical trial of EMR-based CDS were used as inputs into a diabetes simulation model. The simulation cohort included 1,092 patients with diabetes with A1c above goal at baseline.

STUDY DESIGN:

The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study Outcomes Model, a validated simulation model of diabetes, was used to evaluate remaining life years, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and health care costs over patient lifetimes (40-year time horizon) from the health system perspective.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Patients in the intervention group had significantly lowered A1c (0.26 percent, p = .014) relative to patients in the control arm. Intervention costs were $120 (SE = 45) per patient in the first year and $76 (SE = 45) per patient in the following years. In the base case analysis, EMR-based CDS increased lifetime QALYs by 0.04 (SE = 0.01) and increased lifetime costs by $112 (SE = 660), resulting in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $3,017 per QALY. The cost-effectiveness of EMR-based CDS persisted in one-way, two-way, and probabilistic sensitivity analyses.

CONCLUSIONS:

Widespread adoption of sophisticated EMR-based CDS has the potential to modestly improve the quality of care for patients with chronic conditions without substantially increasing costs to the health care system.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00272402.

PMID:
22578085
PMCID:
PMC3459233
DOI:
10.1111/j.1475-6773.2012.01427.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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