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Federal investment in electronic health records likely to reap returns in quality of care
Date:8/31/2011

CLEVELAND Research published today in the New England Journal of Medicine gives cause for optimism that federal investments in electronic health records (EHRs) could reap major benefits in better patient care and health outcomes.

A study based in the Cleveland (Ohio) area involving more than 27,000 adults with diabetes found that those in physician practices using EHRs were significantly more likely to have health care and outcomes that align with accepted standards than those where doctors rely on paper records. Improvements in care and outcomes over a three-year period also proved greater among patients in EHR practices. The study's findings remained consistent for patients regardless of insurance type, including the uninsured as well as patients insured by Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial payers.

"We were not surprised by these results," said Randall D. Cebul, M.D., a professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University and the study's lead author. "They were influenced by several factors, including our public reporting on agreed-upon standards of care and the willingness of our clinical partners to share their EHR-based best practices while simultaneously competing on their execution."

The research involved more than 500 primary care physicians in 46 practices that are partners in a region-wide collaborative known as Better Health Greater Cleveland (Better Health). This alliance

of providers, businesses and other stakeholders is dedicated to enhancing the value of care for patients with chronic medical conditions in the region. Launched in 2007, the organization is one of 16 that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation chose to support in its nationwide initiative, called Aligning Forces for Quality. This initiative is the foundation's signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities as well as reduce racial and ethnic disparities and provide models that will help propel nati
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Contact: Chris Sheridan
chris.sheridan@case.edu
216-368-2774
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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