EHR/EMR

Funding electronic medical records saves lives

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that says federal investments in electronic health records (EHR) would lead to better patient care and health outcomes. Opponents of electronic records cite dangers to privacy and the potential for malicious alteration of insecure records. A three-year study in Cleveland, Ohio, of more than 27,000 adults with diabetes found that medical practices that used EHR were more likely to provide health care aligned with accepted standards than practices that relied on paper records. Findings were consistent regardless of insurance type. Annie F. Weiss, M.P.P. of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said in a press release that electronic health records alone cannot resolve the nation’s health care quality problems, but they do play a crucial role. She leads the foundation’s efforts to improve health care quality. Cleveland is a pioneer in leveraging local resources and federal reform opportunities to improve health care quality and its use of EHR. The study found 51 percent of patients in EHR practices received care that met all of the endorsed standards while only 7 percent at paper-based practices received the same level of care. The difference between the two groups was 44 percent.

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