Clinical Documentation News Roundup: EHR/EMR Edition

Clinical Documentation News Roundup: EHR/EMR Edition

Clinical Documentation News Roundup: EHR/EMR Edition

There was a lot of news about electronic health and medical records this week. One article finds that the majority of patients would like to have full access to their electronic medical records, while another asks how practices can boost participation in patient portals. And EHR Intelligence addresses the "appropriate use/meaningful use" debate when it comes to adopting an EHR software.

  • Addressing the Disparities in Those Using Patient Portals from Kevin MD:  "A study conducted in New York City in the year 2010 published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine presents some interesting figures. Namely, that 16% of all patients in the study received an access code, and of these, 60% activated their code. Disparities were noted: those who activated their access tended to be whiter, English-speakers, and with private insurance. Similar reports are available elsewhere, though not seemingly from much more recently (as always, I would love getting updates and will happily correct in this space.) The question remains: In any given practice, how do we make sure that the patients who are actually using the EMR faithfully reflect the composition of the entire population?"

  • How One Hospital Uses EHR Info to Reduce Bloodstream Infections from Fierce EMR: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 250,000 bloodstream infections are caused by poor management of intravenous catheters, resulting in about 60,000 deaths per year. But a good vascular access monitoring program integrated with a hospital's electronic health record system can reduce that number--and reduce patient length of stay, according to Reginald Coopwood, M.D., president and CEO of Memphis, Tenn.-based Regional Medical Center. Regional, a heavy trauma hospital, recently implemented an electronic vascular access program integrating catheter monitoring with its EHR so that the catheter information is available in one centralized system."

  • Majority of Consumers Want Full Access to EMR from EMPR: "Most U.S. consumers want to have full access to their electronic medical records (EMR), and 41% would be willing to switch doctors to gain access, according to a survey published by Accenture. Researchers from Accenture surveyed more than 9,015 adults (including 1,000 U.S. consumers) in nine countries to examine consumer perceptions of their medical providers' electronic capabilities. According to the report, 41% of U.S. consumers would be willing to switch doctors in order to gain online access to their EMR. 84% of U.S. consumers believe they should have full access to their EMR, but only 36% of physicians agree. 65% of physicians believe patients should have limited EMR access, which is what 63% of consumers currently have."

  • Could EHR Incentives Draw Pharma into Exam Room? from Medical Marketing and Media: "Electronic health records (EHRs) may hold potential benefits for hospitals and patients, and adoption is widespread. What may be less obvious, in the wake of National Health IT week, is how EHRs, spurred by government incentives, could become a new frontier for pharma brand managers. In the last two months, research has shown, EHRs are associated with fewer hospitalizations as well as increased patient loyalty. As a DecisionResources survey indicates, the market for those records is also quickly becoming saturated, leading to a decline in forecasted revenue. With new meaningful-use requirements kicking in next year, some say pharma may also get more serious about leveraging the technology."

  • Why appropriate use outweighs meaningful use of EHR systems from EHR Intelligence: "For primary care physicians trained and working with paper records for decades, the introduction of health information technology, specifically EHR systems, into the exam represented a departure from traditional practice as well as a potential disaster if not approached appropriately. 'The EMR as a chart is a two-edge sword in medicine. It can do you more good, do the patient more good than just about any other tool we have, but also it has the capability of destroying a practice more completely than any other tool we have,' says Peter Anderson, MD, a primary care physician operating his own practice in Virginia."

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