MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Karen E. Joynt, MD MPH
Brigham and Women’s Hospital and VA Boston Healthcare System
Department of Health Policy and Management
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Joynt: While there is a great deal of optimism about the potential of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to improve health care, there is little national data examining whether hospitals that have implemented EHRs have higher-quality care or better patient outcomes. We used national data on 626,473 patients with ischemic stroke to compare quality and outcomes between hospitals with versus without EHRs. We found no difference in quality of care, discharge home (a marker of good functional status), or in-hospital mortality between hospital with versus without EHRs. We did find that the chances of having a long length of stay were slightly lower in hospitals with EHRs than those without them.
MedicalResearch: What should patients and providers take away from this report?
Dr. Joynt: In our sample, EHRs were not associated with overall higher-quality care or better outcomes. Though Electronic Health Records may be necessary for an increasingly high-tech, transparent health care system, as currently implemented, they do not appear to be sufficient to improve outcomes for this important disease.
MedicalResearch: What future research do you recommend as a result of this study?
Dr. Joynt: Future research should find ways of leveraging EHRs to improve care and outcomes – electronic tools have the potential to improve care, but in order to do so, need to be integrated into clinical workflow and provide meaningful information to the clinician. We don’t yet know enough about how best to use Electronic Health Records to improve care, or what type of innovations in electronic tools might really improve outcomes, and that is an important area of research.
Joynt KE, Bhatt DL, Schwamm LH, et al. Lack of Impact of Electronic Health Records on Quality of Care and Outcomes for Ischemic Stroke. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65(18):1964-1972. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2015.02.059.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karen E. Joynt, MD MPH (2015). Electronic Medical Records Did Not Improve Stroke Outcomes Or Quality Of Care MedicalResearch.com