VA Uses Integrated Health Informatics to Produce $3 Billion in Savings

Improved Utilization of Clinical Laboratory Tests Was One Source of Significant Savings

Investment in health informatics saved the Veterans Administration (VA) more than $3 billion during the past 10 years. This was the finding of a newly-published study in Health Affairs. It is likely to have positive implications for how use of information technology (IT) improves utilization of clinical pathology laboratory tests.

Titled “The Value from Investments in Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,” the study was undertaken by the Center for Information Technology Leadership. This is a Charlestown, Massachusetts-based research organization.

During the period of the study, the VA spent more than $4 billion on health information technology. As a result of that HIT investment, the VA realized total savings amounting to $7 billion. After subtracting the expense of the HIT investment, there was a net savings of $3 billion for the VA during the 10 years covered by the study.