Study: Electronic Health Records Help Doctors Provide Better Care
October 18, 2012 8:02 PM
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EHRs helped physicians gather and track patients' medical information more efficiently than paper records
A new study shows that doctors who use
electronic health records (EHRs)
over paper records are able to provide patients with better care.
The study, which was led by Lisa Kern from the Health Information Technology Evaluation Collaborative in the U.S., found that EHRs helped physicians gather and track patients' medical information more efficiently than paper records.
Kern and her team studied 466 physicians and 74,618 patients in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Half of the physicians used EHRs while the other half used paper records in an ambulatory care setting.
The quality of care was measured using nine specific quality measures: hemoglobin testing, eye exams, renal function testing, cholesterol testing, chlamydia screening, breast cancer screening, colorectal cancer screening, upper respiratory infections in children and sore throat in children.
"We found that EHR use is associated with higher quality ambulatory care in a multi-payer community with concerted efforts to
support EHR implementation
," said Kern and her team in the study. "In contrast to several recent national and statewide studies, which found no effect of EHR use, this study's finding is consistent with national efforts to promote meaningful use of EHRs."
More specifically, the study found that four areas of the nine quality measures especially benefitted from EHRs, including breast cancer screening, chlamydia screening, colorectal cancer screening and hemoglobin testing.
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10/19/2012 7:08:40 AM
I work for a major hospital and am involved in the EHR project. What I can tell you is that insurance companies aren't really getting much more info now than they would have before. However, what EHR's do is enable more fraud because there is such lack of proof needed to submit a claim. In addition, they are not more efficient in the short term as providers are seeing on average 1/3 less patients per day because of the growing pains of the system and the amount of time it takes to document on a computer versus paper.
With that being said, I personally am not for EHR even though I work on it, because I hate the idea of everything about you being available on an electronic network for someone to be able to hack into and get.
10/19/2012 11:52:28 AM
I work in an outpatient pharmacy and the biggest problem we've seen (besides the fact that prescribing errors have at least doubled) is that the doctors and nurses take the EHR though it was set in stone. We've had plenty of times where something was "Supposed" to be input into the EHR but instead ended up on a note to input later and gets lost.
All I have to say about EHR is Garbage in / Garbage out. Most doctors don't have the time or desire to learn all the ins and outs of the system and the nurses, well most the time they aren't nurses anymore to save money they're all CMA's who are overworked, underpaid and undereducated. (CMA's only take 1 year at a vocational school)
10/19/2012 8:35:30 PM
I equate adopting EHRs to the five stages of death. First is denial and then go all the way through to acceptance.
While I cannot speak for hospital deployments, have a fair share of ambulatory rollouts and see the same patterns of the five stages of death.
After an initial cut of patient load by 50%, it should be able to return to normal or more after 1 month of so. The quality of ambulatory go-lives really depends on leadership for all parts of the project team in addition to the quality of training.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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