Two years ago in an address to Congress, President Obama declared his commitment to invest in electronic health records (EHRs), saying he thought it was perhaps the best way to quickly improve the quality of American health care. Just two years later, that hunch is proving true in Cleveland, Ohio.
New EHR Research Findings:
This week, the New England Journal of Medicine released research authored by my colleagues and me at Better Health Greater Cleveland showing that physician practices that use electronic health records had significantly higher achievement and improvement in meeting standards of care and outcomes in diabetes than practices using paper records.
Though most of us assumed EHRs would have some effect on patient care, we were delighted by what’s proving to be the reality in greater Cleveland. Just consider:
Care is better: Nearly 51% of patients in EHR practices received care that met all of the endorsed standards.
- Only 7% of patients at paper-based practices received this same level of care– a difference of 44%.
- After accounting for differences in patient characteristics between EHR and paper-based practices, EHR patients still received 35% more of the care standards.
- Just fewer than 16% of patients at paper-based practices had comparable results.
- After accounting for patient differences, the adjusted gap remained 15% higher for EHR practices.