A study by Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago collected data from 4,231 hospitals showed that hospitals with a strong IT location witnessed a significant 3.4 percent decrease in expenditures after implementing a basic EMR and a 2.2 percent decrease after implementing an advanced EMR. Hospitals located farther away from IT-dense areas also experienced cost reductions after three years, but not as statistically significant.
This study clearly indicates that the financial benefits of EHR implementation can go well beyond the incentive payments available to physicians. While there are no studies available in the ambulatory environment at this time, it is not a stretch to theorize that a properly implemented EHR solution in a doctors office can help the doctor to achieve cost savings. Before you start to say "but what about the costs of maintaining the EHR?" it is important to note that the study looked at expenditures, and any expenditures associated with maintaining the EHR need to be included in the bottom line.