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New EHRs perform better, but transition pains docs

InformationWeek, June 10, 2011

For many physicians looking to apply for federal incentive payments when they adopt electronic health records, switching to newer EHRs will be necessary as they update their health information technology to demonstrate meaningful use. However, while newer systems come with improved features, the transition between systems poses significant problems, a study from Weill Cornell Medical College shows. The study, which was supported by funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, was conducted by a team of physician-scientists from Weill Cornell Medical College, who monitored the prescription errors of 19 physicians in an adult ambulatory clinic before the switch from an older EHR to a newer system, then again 12 weeks after the switch and once again a year later. Results of the study, which was conducted to gauge the reaction of physicians on the transition to newer EHRs and to track prescription errors, were published recently in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.