Electronic Health Care Records and Diabetes Care

New Report Finds that EHR Use Results in Higher Quality Care
Research published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicane adds to the growing body of evidence showing that electronic health records (EHRs) enable providers to deliver higher quality care to the patients they serve.

About the Study
The study looked at practices treating more than 27,000 adults with diabetes in the Cleveland, Ohio area. It found that patients being treated by physicians using EHRs were significantly more likely to receive care that aligns with accepted treatment standards, and had better outcomes than patients being treated by physicians who rely on paper records.

Annual improvements in meeting care standards and quality outcomes were faster in practices with EHRs than paper-based practices. Benefits from EHR-use were widespread across different types of practices (including safety net providers) treating patients covered by different types of insurance, including Medicaid.

“Across all insurance types, EHR sites were associated with significantly higher achievement of care and outcome standards and greater improvement in diabetes care.”

“EHR sites showed higher achievement of all components of the composite standard for care. For diabetes outcomes, 43.7% of patients at EHR sites and 15.7% of those at paper-based sites had outcomes that met at least four of the five standards, a difference of 28.0 percentage points.”

Meaningful Use of EHRs is the Foundation for Better Care and Improved Health
The NEJM study shows that providers who use EHRs in a meaningful way, especially to support collaborative efforts to enhance quality, can markedly improve care for their patients. Meaningful use of EHRs helps to: empower patients in adherence to the best standards for monitoring and treating chronic diseases; ensure timely delivery of preventative care; enable better coordination among different providers; facilitate rapid improvement of care quality and outcomes.

Federal Assistance
The Federal Government is supporting these efforts in a variety of ways:

  • Medicare and Medicaid incentives available to eligible professionals and hospitals who demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs
  • Regional Extension Centers
  • State Health Information Exchanges

Local Assistance
The Medical Society of South Carolina is supporting the adoption of EHRs locally by subsidizing the purchase and implementation of EHRs in private physician practices through a grant to Roper/Saint Francis Healthcare. Even though the purchase of EHRs is subsidized, the private practice physician is able to keep their federal stimulus incentive payments to offset the remaining transaction costs.

In order to participate in the subsidized purchase of an EHR for your practice, you must contact John Holloway immediately at (843) 789-1798 or [email protected] – time is running out for participation in this important program!

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