This appeared a little while ago.
The use of electronic health records in clinical settings was associated with a decrease in emergency room visits and hospitalizations for patients with diabetes, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Researchers examined the medical records of 169,711 diabetic patients over 1 year of age in the Kaiser Permanente diabetes clinical registry before and after the implementation of Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect, the organization's comprehensive EHR system. They found that patients visited the emergency room 29 fewer times per 1,000 patients and were hospitalized 13 fewer times per 1,000 patients annually after the implementation.
"Using the electronic health record in the outpatient setting improved the quality of care in ways that cumulatively resulted in fewer negative events," said Mary Reed, DrPH, staff scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif., and the study's lead author. "A reduction in the number of emergency department visits represents not just improvements in diabetes care, but the cumulative effect of the EHR across many different care pathways and conditions."
Researchers found that annual emergency room visits declined 5.5 percent, from 519 visits per 1,000 diabetes patients before electronic health records to 490 visits per 1,000 diabetes patients afterward. Annual hospitalizations declined 5.2 percent, from 239 per 1,000 diabetes patients before electronic health records to 252 per 1,000 diabetes patients afterward. The researchers did not find any significant change in the number of office visits for patients with diabetes before and after electronic health records were implemented.
"This study demonstrates that when doctors and patients use an EHR, good things happen," said Marc G. Jaffe, MD, a study co-author and Kaiser Permanente endocrinologist in South San Francisco. "The current study adds to our understanding by describing how an EHR like KP HealthConnect can help doctors keep patients healthy when used as part of an integrated care delivery system."
More information: doi:10.l001/jama.2013.276733
Journal reference: Journal of the American Medical Association
Provided by Kaiser Permanente
There is more coverage with an associated positive study found here:
Published: Sep 10, 2013 | Updated: Sep 11, 2013
By Nancy Walsh, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner
The use of electronic health records has the capacity to cut down on the number of emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations, and also to improve early diagnosis in primary care, two studies suggested.
In one U.S. study of patients with diabetes, implementation of electronic health records in a large integrated health system was associated with 28.80 (95% CI 20.28-37.32) fewer ED visits and 13.10 (7.37-18.82) fewer hospital admissions per 1,000 patients each year, according to Mary Reed, DrPH, of Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, and colleagues.
Lots more here:
The bottom line is that there are some real positive effects possible with clinicians using EHRs - especially with decision support.