Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine makes the case that investments in Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are beginning to pay off in improved patient care and outcomes.
A recent study took place in Cleveland, Ohio that involved over 27,000 adults with diabetes. The results of the study showed that physician practices using EHRs were much more likely to have care and outcomes that meet with accepted standards than those practices that relied upon paper records. The study, which took place over a twelve month period found that the results were consistent across patient types, regardless of insurance type or whether or not patients were uninsured. Investments such as HealthFusion’s MediTouch EHR are paying off.
Among the findings in the study:
• Standards of Care: Nearly 51 percent of patients in EHR practices received care that met all of the endorsed standards. Only 7 percent of patients at paper-based practices received this same level of care – a difference of 44 percentage points. After accounting for differences in patient characteristics, EHR patients still received 35 percent more of the care standards.
• Patient Outcomes: Nearly 44 percent of patients in EHR practices met at least four of five outcome standards, while just under 16 percent of patients at paper-based practices had comparable results. After accounting for patient differences, the adjusted gap was 15 percent higher for EHR practices.
• Trends Over Time: After accounting for patient differences, EHR practices had annual improvements in care that were 10 percent greater than paper-based practices as well as 4 percent greater annual improvements in outcomes.
• Performance Across Insurance Types: Patients in EHR practices showed better results, including improvements over time, in both standards of care and outcomes across all insurance categories – commercial, Medicare, Medicaid and uninsured.
The study is well worth reading and can be viewed by clicking the link at the top of this article.