A recent Practice Fusion study revealed that American patients have seen an average of 18,7 different doctors during their lives, but the majority of the medical records in the US is still on paper. Another recent study of hospital CIOs found that E-medical records and electronic ordering systems are the top IT priorities for hospital CIOs over the next two years. And finally, another study reveals that Electronic Medical Records using CPOE can save lives.
Date: August 12, 2010
Hello, I’m Dawn DiPaola and today I will be discussing new research in Health IT. There are some conflicting reports concerning whether or not EHRs actually lead to cost savings and improved quality of care.
A recent Practice Fusion study revealed that American patients have seen an average of 18,7 different doctors during their lives. This number increased to 28.4 for patients over ages 65 and up. With the vast majority of medical records in the US still on paper and the average appointment taking 13 pages to document, this study shows that the average patient's health is dependent on at least 200 pieces of paper in almost 19 different locations. This data supports the movement towards interoperable electronic health records to increase accessibility and efficiency in the exchange of health information.
With this evidence, it’s not surprising that a recent study of hospital CIOs found that E-medical records and electronic ordering systems are the top IT priorities for hospital CIOs over the next two years. Hospital CIOs surveyed names EHR systems as their most important IT project. In addition, 56% named computerized physician order entry as another top priority. Interestingly, only 25% of hospital IT managers and directors saw EHR projects as ‘most important.’ Hospital IT managers and directors ranked PC refreshers and security initiatives as their top priorities. CIOs’ EHR priorities may be influenced by the federal incentive program for the meaningful use of EHR technology, which could bring hospitals a lot of money for Health IT.
Another study in support for EHR technology was conducted by Stanford University and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. It reveals that electronic medical records using CPOE can save lives. Since the implementing an electronic health record system in 2007, the hospital has decreased its mortality rate by 20%. Until now, no other hospital that implemented a CPOE system has been able to prove a decrease in mortality rate. The success at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital may be attributed to the careful and well-planned implementation of the CPOE and electronic health record systems. While this study shows positive results for CPOE more research is needed to make conclusions on its effectiveness.
This is interesting research that clearly supports EHR technology. It will be interesting to see more longitudinal studies of EHR technology to identify if such positive results can be maintained over time.
I’m Dawn DiPaola, and this is EHRtv NewsFlash. Thanks for watching.