EMRs mejora resultados clínicos

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | August 13, 2014
Lorren Pettit
There's a beneficial relationship between EMR adoption and hospital performance and mortality rates, according to a new study from HIMSS Analytics and Healthgrades — online resource for physician and hospital information. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the value of EMRs but the researchers hope their findings will put an end to it.

"After we did the analysis it was, like, 'Wow, there are some pretty strong findings here that can address and at least hopefully quell the concerns that people have had around the effectiveness of the EMR,'" Lorren Pettit, vice president of market research at HIMSS Analytics, told DOTmed News.

The researchers used data from the HIMSS Analytics database on 4,583 facility records, the HIMSS Analytics' Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM), and mortality rate measures compiled by Healthgrades across 19 different clinical procedures.

They used the EMRAM to score the hospitals based on what stage EMR they had, with an eight-stage continuum. EMRAM stages zero to two were considered "low" EMR capabilities and EMRAM stages six to seven were considered "high" EMR capabilities.

They found that hospitals with the high EMRAM stages significantly improved their mortality rates, especially for heart attack, respiratory failure and small intestine surgery.

"I wasn't too surprised — it's was what you wanted and expected to see — but it was so confirming and good to see because of all of the voices that are out in the marketplace that are questioning the value of the EMR," said Pettit.

However, the mortality rates for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, Valve replacement, Pulmonary Embolism and Neurosurgery were not affected by EMRs. Pettit speculates that the reason for that is because sometimes the hospital staff chooses not to use the EMR and also because they might not be that familiar with how to use it.

He added that the medical floor staff tends to use EMRs more than the surgical staff because it's a part of their workflow — the surgical staff is accustomed to using checklists.

"The EMR is a tool — it's not the silver bullet that you just put in and it improves mortalities. You have to have staff and clinicians that are actually going to use it," he said.

Going forward, Pettit hopes that the study will reassure providers and vendors that the EMR is an effective tool for clinical outcomes. "Hopefully, I'd like to sort of put that debate to rest in that we don't question the value of the tool itself," he said. "We need to move forward in the processes around it and get people on board to adopt it."

He also hopes that it will set a standard for understanding the effectiveness of EMRs. "We've raised the bar to be able to understand the effectiveness," he said. "You really have to have the holistic approach, and I think this is probably one of the most holistic approaches that I know of that's out there."

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