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September Ophthalmology research highlights
Date:9/1/2008

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--- Doctors and medical centers across the United States are debating the use of electronic health records (EHR). This months Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, provides a look at Eye M.D.s actions and opinions on the issue. Also highlighted this month are two research studies that will help doctors identify patients who are most vulnerable to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of severe vision loss in the United States and most Western countries.

Academy Sponsors First Study of Electronic Health Records Use by US Ophthalmologists

Health care professionals today need systems that consolidate information and simplify its transmission: research and clinical knowledge are rapidly expanding, treatments are increasingly complex, most patients are seen by multiple caregivers, and the aging United States population will soon need care for chronic illnesses over long time periods. The Institute of Medicine, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, considers electronic health records (EHR) key to improving health care, as medication and treatment errors and other adverse events would likely decrease significantly if EHR were in widespread use. EHR are particularly relevant to specialties that rely heavily on diagnostic images and technical data, such as ophthalmology. A recent study by the American Academy of Ophthalmology is the first to assess use of EHR by U.S. ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.s).

The study collected and analyzed the responses of 592 Academy member ophthalmologists who voluntarily completed a standardized survey online or in a telephone interview in March 2006; the full study group was 3,800 randomly selected members. The survey tracked ophthalmologists EHR use (implemented, in process, planned, not planned), importance or value to the user of a variety of EHR features, patient and practice demographics, and system
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Contact: Mary Wade
mwade@aao.org
415-447-0221
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Source:Eurekalert

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