EMRs to help NYC doctors keep tabs on high-risk patients

A pharma-funded program in New York City will help more than 1,700 primary-care practices with EMRs coordinate preventive care for patients at high risk for serious conditions like heart attacks and strokes. The new Panel Management program, part of the citywide Primary Care Information Project, will assign outreach specialists to work with physicians to identify patients in need of screening tests and preventive treatment.

Health officials say the program will help the city achieve its goal of reducing preventable hospitalizations by 17 percent by 2012. "Panel Management moves healthcare from 'you get it only if you come' to a patient-centered approach that reminds people to get screenings or treatment," New York City Assistant Health Commissioner Dr. Amanda Parsons says in a written statement.

Parsons leads New York's Primary Care Information Project, which has helped install EMRs in hundreds of small practices. Panel Management will make use of those EMRs to find patients with chronic diseases who haven't seen their doctors in a while. Funding for the new project comes largely from drugmaker Pfizer, city officials say.

To learn more:
- take a look at this UPI story
- read the New York City Department of Health press release