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EHRs give docs analytics tools they may ignore



When physicians have electronic health records, it's easier for them to create registries--lists of patients who need particular preventive and chronic care services--according to a new study. And in fact, research suggests these registries may improve quality of care. It's unclear, however, whether most docs will take advantage of these clinical analytics tools. The study in the July issue of Health Affairs looked at the results of surveys given to 163 doctors in three Massachusetts communities. These physicians were among those who received free EHRs and access to health information exchanges in a $50 million pilot program funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. The Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, which administered the pilot from 2006-2008, also provided the practices with technical assistance, which of course is not the case for most community physicians who adopt EHRs.


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