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Electronic Health Records Help Cardiac Patients Remain Healthy
Date:8/7/2009

can help keep patients healthy for longer and deliver continuity of care in a cost efficient manner."

In the study, 421 patients in the Clinical Pharmacy Cardiac Risk Service with well-controlled blood pressure and cholesterol levels were randomized so that 214 continued in the program to receive intensive direct counseling from the care team. The other 207 patients were discharged from the program back to their primary care physician. The mean age of the trial participants was 72 years old, and 74 percent were male.

The patients who were discharged from the program had electronic reminders in their chart to ensure their lipid panels were ordered annually, with the results sent directly to their primary care physician. The discharged patients also received reminder letters generated by KP HealthConnect(R) indicating they were due for a lab test. Importantly, the study found that patients discharged from the program maintained control of their risk factors with the help of electronic reminder letters. The EHR intervention was as effective at keeping cholesterol and blood pressure in check, compared to the more intensive counseling approach offered to those patients who stayed enrolled in the program.

The Clinical Pharmacy Cardiac Risk Service cares for 13,000 cardiac patients with integrated nursing and pharmacy teams that work collaboratively with patients and their doctors using technology tools and activities such as lifestyle modification, medication management, patient education, laboratory results monitoring, and management of adverse events.

The program also achieved these previous reported results:

  • Patients have an 88 percent reduced risk of dying of a cardiac-related cause when enrolled within 90 days of a heart attack, compared to those not in the program;
  • The number of patients meeting their cholesterol goal went from 26 percent to 73 percent,
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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