Outcomes and Quality of Care in Stroke Patients Not Influenced by EHRs

A study published in in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that maintaining electronic health records for ischemic stroke patients did not improve health outcomes or care quality in the 1236 hospitals evaluated between 2007 and 2010.

Electronic health records may be necessary for a more high-tech and transparent health care system, but hospitals with electronic health records for ischemic stroke patients did not demonstrate better quality of care or clinical outcomes for those patients when compared to similar hospitals without electronic health records, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers looked at 1236 hospitals in Get With the Guidelines-Stroke between 2007 and 2010 and compared the 511 that had electronic health records to those that did not. They found that after controlling for patient and hospital characteristics, having an electronic health record was not associated with higher quality of care, more patients discharged home or lower in-hospital mortality rates, though electronic records were associated with a slightly lower risk of having a prolonged hospital stay. "EHRs do not appear to be sufficient, at least as currently implemented, to improve overall quality of care or outcomes for this important disease state," said Karen E. Joynt, MD, MPH, lead author of the study and a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Joynt has no disclosures relevant to the study.

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