The cost-effectiveness of a computerized ECG interpretation system in an ambulatory health care organization has been evaluated in comparison with a conventional (manual) system. The automated system was shown to be more cost-effective at a minimum load of 2,500 patients/month. At larger monthly loads an even greater cost-effectiveness was found, the average cost/ECG being about $2. In the manual system the cost/unit is practically independent of patient load. This is primarily due to the fact that 87% of the cost/ECG is attributable to wages and fees of highly trained personnel. In the automated system, on the other hand, the cost/ECG is heavily dependent on examinee load. This is due to the relatively large impact of equipment depreciation on fixed (and total) cost. Utilization of a computer-assisted system leads to marked reduction in cardiologists' interpretation time, substantially shorter turnaround time (of unconfirmed reports), and potential provision of simultaneous service at several remotely located "heart stations."
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Information Systems
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management