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J Dent Educ. 2014 Nov;78(11):1542-51.

Costs of health IT: beginning to understand the financial impact of a dental school EHR.

Author information

1
Dr. Spallek is Associate Professor, Dental Public Health, Center for Informatics in Oral Health Translational Research and Associate Dean, Office of Faculty Affairs, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh; Dr. Johnson is Professor of Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness, and Clinical Professor, School of Information, University of Michigan; Mr. Kerr is Associate Dean for Administration, School of Dental Medicine, University at Buffalo; and Mr. Rankin is Director, Office of Computing and Information Systems, School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. hspallek@pitt.edu.
2
Dr. Spallek is Associate Professor, Dental Public Health, Center for Informatics in Oral Health Translational Research and Associate Dean, Office of Faculty Affairs, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh; Dr. Johnson is Professor of Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness, and Clinical Professor, School of Information, University of Michigan; Mr. Kerr is Associate Dean for Administration, School of Dental Medicine, University at Buffalo; and Mr. Rankin is Director, Office of Computing and Information Systems, School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Abstract

Health Information Technology (Health IT) constitutes an integral component of the operations of most academic dental institutions nowadays. However, the expenses associated with the acquisition and the ongoing maintenance of these complex systems have often been buried among costs for other electronic infrastructure systems, distributed across various cost centers including unmeasured central campus support, covered centrally and therefore difficult to quantify, and spread over years, denying school administrators a clear understanding of the resources that have been dedicated to Health IT. The aim of this study was to understand the financial impact of Health IT at four similar U.S. dental schools: two schools using a purchased Electronic Health Record (EHR), and two schools that developed their own EHR. For these schools, the costs of creating ($2.5 million) and sustaining ($174,000) custom EHR software were significantly higher than acquiring ($500,000) and sustaining ($121,000) purchased software. These results are based on historical data and should not be regarded as a gold standard for what a complete Health IT suite should cost. The presented data are intended to inform school administrators about the myriad of costs associated with Health IT and give them a point of reference when comparing costs or making estimates for implementation projects.

KEYWORDS:

Health IT; dental education; dental informatics; dental school clinics; electronic health record; electronic patient record; information systems; information technology

PMID:
25362696
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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