Study leader Thom Walsh, Paul James Barr and Rachel Thompson, all post-doctoral fellow at the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science; Elissa Ozanne, associate professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice; Ciaran O'Neill, professor at the School of Business and Economics, National University of Ireland; and Glyn Elwyn, professor at both the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice said a systematic review found the evidence for savings were not as broad or deep as suspected.
The research team reviewed 1,508 citations; seven studies with eight analyses were included in the analysis. Of these seven studies, four analyses predict system-wide savings -- two analyses from the same study.
The review, published in the British Medical Journal, found the predicted savings ranged from $8 to $3,068 per patient.
"Our review tells us the ability for decision support to lead to savings is still undetermined," Walsh said in a statement. "There are many other reasons for the use of decision support. We are concerned the benefits could be lost if promises of savings are unfulfilled."