Study: Long-term use of EHRs enhances patient care

Physicians reported the use of electronic health records has enhanced overall patient care and has provided them with additional benefits, such as meeting meaningful use criteria and the facilitation of patient communication, according to recently published data.

In the study, 3,180 physicians completed the Physician Workflow Survey questionnaire about their experiences with electronic health records (EHRs). Researchers found 78% of physicians with EHRs reported EHR use enhanced overall patient care, 81% found that EHRs helped them access a patient’s chart remotely. They reported that 65% of respondents were alerted to a potential medication error and 62% were alerted to critical lab values. Study results showed between 30% and 50% of physicians reported EHR use was associated with clinical benefits related to providing recommended care, ordering appropriate tests and facilitating patient communication. Researchers who reported benefits were using EHRs that met meaningful use criteria and had 2 or more years of EHR experience.

“A majority of physicians said they were alerted to a potential medication error or critical lab value and about one-third reported that EHRs helped them identify needed lab tests or facilitated direct communication with patients,” Jennifer King, PhD, chief of research and evaluation at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, stated.

In the next phase of the study, the researchers will include policies to enhance the use of EHRs to exchange data between providers and give patients access to their health records.

For more information:

King J. Health Serv Res. 2013;doi:10.1111/1475-6773.12135.

Disclosure: King has no relevant information.

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