Study: U.S. behind in health IT adoption, paying more for healthcare
The U.S. has made some steps towards wider electronic medical record and other health IT adoption, but according to a report by Health Affairs published yesterday, the efforts seem to be baby steps when put in an international perspective. The report – which was completed by researchers at Johns Hopkins and Princeton – estimates that this country could be as much as a dozen years behind, in fact.
Making matters worse, Americans pay more for their healthcare (the reports puts the price tag at $5,635 per person yearly) which is well over twice what citizens in other industrialized counties are paying. This seems strange because other industrialized countries have fewer doctors and nurses, as well as fewer hospital beds available. To put this in perspective, the second highest paying country is Norway, yet people living there pay 48 percent less ($3,807) each year than those in the U.S.
The researchers in previous studies have attributed the difference largely to the higher costs of health-related products and services in this country. Interestingly, the authors noted that they have seen no significant documentation of costs be reduced by the implementation of health information technology.