Tech That Powers Quality Standards
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine is among the first to put hard numbers on the benefits of electronic health records.
Researchers looked at four national quality standards, including:
- eye exams,
- pneumonia vaccinations,
- outcome measures such as blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol control,
- patient-driven issues such as obesity and smoking
Nearly 51% of patients in EHR practices received care that met all four quality standards, compared to just 7% of patients at paper-based practices. Nearly 44% of patients in EHR practices met at least four of five outcome standards, compared to about 16% of patients at paper-based practices.
The study is among the first to put hard numbers on the benefits of electronic health records. But as the study's lead author, Randall Cebul, MD, said in an interview this week, "51% is 49% short of ideal."
So what are the next steps? And how can health information technology get us there?
The problem of patient compliance and engagement
One finding of the research was that the benefit of electronic records was greater for care standards than it was for outcomes. And care standards that are largely patient-controlled—such as smoking and obesity—have been particularly troublesome.
- CMS Mulls Income-Adjusting MA Stars
- As Retail Clinics Surge, Quality Metrics MIA
- Providers' Push to Consolidate Roils Payers
- Providers Prep for New Payment Models as Population Health Grows
- Former NQF Co-Chair Linked to Conflicts of Interest in Journal Probe
- No Employee Satisfaction, No Patient-Centered Culture
- 3 Ways to Rev Employee Development Programs
- 6 Not-So-Good Reasons for Avoiding Population Health
- Medicare Cost, Quality Data Tools Weak, Says GAO
- Aligning Executive Compensation with Provider Mission