Contrary to the notion that Electronic Health Records (EHR) will lower spending a new study in the March Health Affairs found a 40% to 70% INCREASE in ordering of second x-ray or CAT scan. EHRs are supposed to lower health care spending by improving physician access to a patient's medical history and diagnostic test results.
Read the Health Affairs article here.
A "convenience effect" may be the mechanism by which EMRs lead to increased imaging.
"The effect may be to provide subtle encouragement to physicians to order more imaging studies".Referring to better access to results with computerization, lead author Danny McCormick, MD says,
"As with many other things, if you make things easier to do, people will do them more often."You can also read this summary article from Fierce Healthcare.
One implication for physical therapists might be an increased need for critical pathways like the Starbucks/Virginia Mason model from 2006 or the Intel/Cigna model from 2011 in order to contain the overutilization of diagnostic imaging.