Study: EHRs could prevent 25 percent of hip fractures

If healthcare organizations nationwide did a better job managing patients at risk for osteoporosis, they could cut the rate of hip fractures in the U.S. by 25 percent, and the best way to do so is to collect and analyze EHR data, Kaiser Permanente researchers say, writing in the November issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. KP HealthConnect--said to be the world's largest civilian EHR database--is at the center of Kaiser's Healthy Bones osteoporosis prevention program that is the subject of the study. Kaiser mined the EHR for data on anti-osteoporosis medication usage, bone-density scans and fractures related to bone fragility.

"Currently in the United States, the rate of treatment after a fragility fracture is only 20 percent. Treatment after a fragility fracture at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California is now 68 percent," said lead author Dr. Richard M. Dell, a Kaiser orthopedic surgeon in Downey, Calif. "Healthcare would be drastically improved if this model of osteoporosis care were adapted for the rest of America."

The improved patient management helped Kaiser prevent 970 hip fractures in 2007 alone, as the fracture rate dropped by 38 percent over the life of the study, which ran from 2002 to 2007, Healthcare IT News reports.

To learn more:
- take a look at this Healthcare IT News story
- read the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery study (subscription req.)