Could Secondary Use of Electronic Medical Records Be Your Healthcare Organization’s Greatest Asset?


The immediate, primary benefits of electronic medical records are well-recognized: improved efficiency for physicians and enhanced safety for patients.

But what are the secondary benefits?

According to a recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, secondary use of electronic medical records may become a healthcare organizations’ greatest asset over the next five years. Data mined from health information systems could help improve patient care, predict trends in public health and reduce healthcare costs.

The survey, “Transforming Healthcare Through Secondary Use of Health Data,” found 90% of healthcare executives say the secondary use of health information from electronic health records will significantly improve patient care.

Many organizations are already using some form of secondary data. Of those:

  • 59% have seen quality improvements
  • 42% have achieved cost savings
  • 36% have experienced enhanced patient satisfaction
  • 29% have increased revenue

While 65% of health organizations expect their secondary data use to increase significantly in the next two years, several barriers are prohibiting these secondary benefits from being fully realized, including a lack of standards, privacy issues and limitations of technology.

Even without clear government regulations on the secondary use of electronic medical records, 62% of healthcare executives surveyed say individual or identifiable data can be reused if it’s in the best interest of the patient.

Tell us: Is your healthcare organization using some form of secondary data?

Receive the latest healthcare IT, Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) and Radiology Information System (RIS) news. Subscribe now to the Medical Imaging Talk blog via RSS feed or email. Or follow us on Twitter today.

Leave a Reply