A study released this week by the New England Journal of Medicine reports that primary care practices that use electronic health records achieve better overall clinical outcomes for patients with diabetes and also comply more thoroughly with disease-related care standards than practices not currently using EHRs.
According to the study, which analyzed the treatment of diabetes at seven Cleveland primary care practices, 43.7 percent of patients at EHR-based practices reached at least four of five standards related to diabetes outcomes, compared with 15.7 percent of patients at paper-based practices. In addition, 50.9 percent of patients at EHR-based practices received diabetes care that met all four standards of treatment analyzed in the survey, compared with only 6.6 percent of patients at practices without EHRs.
The study also found:
- At sites with EHRs, 82.1 percent of patients ultimately complied with nonsmoking guidance, compared with 52.3 percent of paper-based practices.
- For diabetes outcomes, patients at paper-based practices fared better in one area: maintaining Body Mass Index levels below 30. Thirty-four percent of patients at paper-based practices managed to do so; compared with 32.8 percent of patients at paper-based practices.
- In the largest difference in care standards in the survey, 83 percent of diabetes patients at EHR-based practices received pneumococcal vaccinations, compared with only 15 percent of patients at paper-based practices.
Click here to read the full report.