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.

Source: Springer

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