EHR Linked to Much Better Quality Care

(Source - Medical News Today - Article Date: 17 Oct 2012 - 11:00 PDT)

Doctors who go digital do appear to provide significantly better health care, researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, reported in theJournal of General Internal Medicine.

US health authorities as well as the federal government itself are pushing doctors, clinics and health centers to move into the digital world. The US government has introduced incentives worth up to $29 billion for "meaningful" use of EHRs(electronic health records). Health authorities say with such modern technology doctors, clinics and hospitals will be able to better track and improve patient outcomes.

The uptake of electronic health records in the USA has been much slower than in other developed nations, such as the United Kingdom. However, over the last two years doctors, clinics and hospitals have caught up rapidly. In February 2012, Kathleen Sebelius, US Secretary for Health and Human Services announced that American hospitals have doubled their usage of electronic health records over the last two years.

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U.S. Hospitals Triple Use of EHR

(Source HealthDay News:By Dennis Thompson July 8, 2013)

HealthDay Reporter MONDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. hospitals have made major progress in adopting electronic health records systems over the past three years, according to a new report.

The number of hospitals with a basic electronic health records (EHRs) system tripled from 2010 to 2012, with more than four of every 10 hospitals now equipped with the new health information technology, according to the report scheduled for Tuesday release by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

"Given the size of our country, that's amazing progress in a very short time period," said report co-author Dr. Ashish Jha, an associate professor with the Harvard School of Public Health.

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EHR- Make-or-Break Year

(Source: Bloomberg Business Week By Suzanne Allard Levingston , November 14, 2013)

Lelia Straw uses her home computer to help manage her type 2 diabetes. To track her blood work and stay in touch with her doctors, she logs on to HealthConnect, an online system operated by Kaiser Permanente, the Oakland (Calif.)-based health plan that covers 9.1 million Americans. “When you have the tools, you have sort of an internal motivation to use them and to pay attention to what’s going on,” Straw says. For years, the 63-year-old carried a paper record of her medical history, but she has come to realize that all her doctors now have access to even her most recent test results.

New findings confirm that electronic health records deliver benefits for patients and physicians. A September study by one of Kaiser Permanente’s research arms shows that when doctors switched from paper to digital records, their diabetic patients made 5.5 percent fewer trips to the emergency room and were hospitalized 5.3 percent fewer times. These modest gains added up to savings of $158,478 for every 1,000 patients. “There’s something about being in an integrated system that allows everything to work better,” says Marc Jaffe, a Kaiser Permanente endocrinologist who is a co-author of the study.

 

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