Yesterday, the New York Times published an article that describes how a large consortium of hospitals in NY want to use electronic health records that share data among doctors’ offices, labs and hospitals to coordinate patient care, reduce unnecessary tests and cut down on medical mistakes.
The competitive advantage (target) enabled by implementation of digital patient records in hospitals, rather than the paper status-quo, is analogous to trying to hit a target with an "oozie" or a "bow-and-arrow." An interesting aspect of the article speaks to the competitive edge that hospitals may acquire with use of digital records that can not only influence patients in their choice of hospitals, but also has the ability to provide physicians with admitting privileges at more hospitals. This represents awareness of marketing opportunities and a trend toward tightening relationships with physicians in their communities.
"The government-backed campaign to hasten the adoption of electronic health records has the potential not only to change how health care is delivered. It could also influence which institutions emerge as leaders in delivering care, as some local markets consolidate further.
[Implementation of electronic health records] was not done on a pure dollars-and-cents, return-on-investment
perspective. But better health care and better quality should be a good
I particularly like the idea that these leading edge healthcare organizations recognize that an important advantage of EHRs is the opportunity to improve health outcomes for patients and to attract leading physicians and providers to their hospitals.