Physician office-based information systems for managed care plans.

J. Shalowitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three problems must be overcome before an ideal information system can be implemented. First, such setups are costly. For a group of 7 to 10 physicians, the price will be upwards of $100,000. Physicians must therefore weigh this cost against the direct economic benefit of personnel savings and the indirect benefit of enhanced information accuracy. Second, the culture of the organization must be assessed and found to be supportive before implementing any of these recommendations. If the information system is to function optimally, physicians must be willing to participate in the data entry. Some entry functions are no more onerous than filling out a superbill. Other tasks, such as completion of referrals, may require use of a keyboard--an activity that is foreign and distasteful to many practitioners. It is axiomatic, but necessary, to state that if the physicians will not use the system, it should not be purchased. Third, most sophisticated businesses have an administrator who understands the structure of information flows and the functions of the data system. The system described here requires the attention of such a person, who will manage the information and troubleshoot problems. If a group is small, the administrator may be able to accomplish this task; if it is large, the function may need to be assigned to a full-time manager with backup support staff. Three future developments may mitigate these problems. First, with increasing competition among hardware and software vendors, the price of these systems may decrease to a more affordable level. For the setup described, however, such pricing may be several years away.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-62
Number of pages9
JournalManaged care quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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