The implementation of a community-based electronic health record project alone is not enough to improve the quality of care for small practices, according to a new study published in Medical Care.
Andrew M. Ryan, PhD and colleagues studied 143 practices that implemented electronic health records (EHRs) as part of the Primary Care Information Project. Of these, 71 practices were randomly chosen to receive financial incentives and quality feedback while the remaining 72 received feedback alone. All practices received technical assistance and clinical decision support for the EHR program.
Ryan and colleagues found that financial incentives for quality care were consistently associated with higher performance for incentivized measures; however, they reported lower performance for unincentivized measures. Meanwhile, performance improved when technical assistance was provided for unincentivized measures, but not for incentivized measures. The researchers concluded that a mixture of technical assistance and financial incentives can aid in the implementation of EHRs and improve quality of care.
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