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Electronic Medical Records Might Boost Diabetes Care
Date:8/31/2011

n the dark for three years?" he asked. "Nobody."

The study findings also reveal how few patients met all the standards. Of those who went to clinics with electronic records, the unadjusted statistics show that just 51 percent met all four benchmarks for care, compared to only 7 percent of those at clinics that relied on paper. And just 44 percent of those at the electronic-record-using clinics met four out of five benchmarks for how they were doing medically, compared to only 16 percent for those at clinics that relied on paper.

"We have a long way to go," Cebul said.

Still, Rand Corp.'s Hillestad said the study does suggest that electronic records have value in the treatment of people with chronic illnesses. "If you can start to see evidence that electronic health records are improving the care and cost of chronic illness, that will be a really big step."

More information

There's more on personal health records at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Randall D. Cebul, M.D., professor of medicine, Case Western Reserve University, and director, Better Health Greater Cleveland; and Richard Hillestad, Ph.D., senior principal researcher, Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif.; Sept. 1, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine


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