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 10:36:39 AM
Right now it's more likely that it hurts efficiency. There are growing pains getting doctors and hospitals out of 1980s style record keeping. But the returns that can be realized from having health records digital is incredible. Data mining, statistical analysis, predictive analytics, fraud detection, you name it. The biggest problems we have in health care is over prescribing treatments/tests/medication, fraud, abuse, and waste. It's estimated that this crap costs consumers $750 billion a year and properly utilizing EHR data can dramatically help combat this.
10/19/2012 10:49:00 AM
doctors and hospitals out of 1980s style record keeping
my wife does medical coding and the horror stories i hear of just how disconnected things are is WOW to me. One clinic might be pure paper records..another partial electronic, yet wants things coded differently then another clinic that does the same thing..
and right now there are real legitimate privacy concerns. She has worked for a couple places where they had to fire people for accessing the electronic records of celebrities without authorization. which is good one the one hand.. they do track who accesses what.. but I still have to wonder why they have access to records they shouldnt be looking at.
another thing that makes me shake my head and chuckle about all the talk of electronic records is just how localized most of these systems seem to be. you can have hospital group A have their own system.. which another regional group cannot access..because they use their own system which others cannot access.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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