In light of the ever-growing importance and usability of medical information systems (IS), the healthcare sector has been investing heavily in these technologies in recent years, with the aim of improving decision-making through improved medical processes, reduced costs and integration of medical data. However, these systems are extremely costly. In addition, the overall contribution of these technologies to the medical field is not obvious, especially, in high-stress environments such as emergency departments (EDs). The objective of this research is to explore whether investing in health information technology (HIT) in an ED is financially rewarding in general, and specifically the circumstances under which such an investment is more rewarding and vice versa. A cost-effectiveness analysis served as the selected tool for return on investment (ROI) estimations of certain integrative medical IS that serves seven main hospitals in Israel. We evaluated the overall profitability of this medical IS, by balancing the quality gained from information (retrieved from medical IS) against the costs of providing this information.

The results of the cost-effectiveness analysis show that our specific medical cases of chest pain received a clear cost-effective reading since the results (ΔQuality/ΔCosts) were lower than the range of all common threshold values. Furthermore, the use of HIT in the ED improved the quality units per patient for each chosen admission decisions

The findings of this study may also contribute to policy makers in the healthcare sector regarding the advisability of investing in such systems.