Healthcare News & Insights

EHRs lead to better care and results for diabetes patients

Patients with diabetes achieve better outcomes when they’re treated at practices that use electronic health records, compared to practices that rely on paper records, recent research says.

Those were the findings of a 2011 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study, led by Dr. Randall Cebul of Case Western Reserve University, looked at 27,000 adult diabetes patients receiving care from 569 providers in the Cleveland area.

Over a 12-month period, the patients were evaluated based on how they met a set of four standards of care and five standards of outcomes for diabetes patients.

The results:

  • 50.9% of the patients treated at practices using EHRs met all four standards of care, compared to 6.6% at paper-based sites, and
  • 43.7% of patients at EHR practices met at least four of the five outcome standards, compared to 15.7% of those at practices that use paper charts.

The study notes that these results are different from earlier studies, which found no difference between EHR and paper practices in care quality  and outcomes. However, those studies looked at practices using older, less sophisticated EHR systems.

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