Journal: EHR Improves Diabetes Care

Amidst growing controversy about the clinical benefits of electronic health records (EHRs), a recently published study of more than 27,000 patients in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that—for diabetes patients, at least—EHRs are beneficial.

Physician practices using EHRs had “significantly higher achievement and improvement in meeting standards of care and outcomes in diabetes than practices using paper records,” said Randall D. Cebul, M.D., one of the researchers at Better Health Greater Cleveland.

According to the study:

  • 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 percent.
  • After accounting for differences in patient characteristics between EHR and paper-based practices, EHR patients still received 35 percent more of the care standards.
  • Just fewer than 16 percent of patients at paper-based practices had comparable results.
  • After accounting for patient differences, the adjusted gap remained 15 percent higher for EHR practices.
  • Nearly 44 percent of patients in EHR practices met at least four of five outcome standards for diabetes.
  • EHR practices had annual improvements in care that were 10 percent greater and improvements in outcomes that were 4 percent greater than those of paper-based practices.

Patients in EHR practices showed better results regardless of their insurance status, whether privately insured, uninsured, or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

For more information, you can find a report on the study at HealthIT Buzz.


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