Study: EMR speeds treatment of STDs

Sex sells. Apparently, that's even true when it comes to EMRs. How else to explain U.S. News & World Report picking up a HealthDay News report on the effect an EMR has on treatment? That's because the disease in question is chlamydia.

A study published online today in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections finds that an EMR cut the average treatment start time to 3.5 days from 11.5 days following a chlamydia diagnosis at a sexual health clinic in the UK. The percentage of patients getting treatment within two weeks of their diagnosis rose to 94 percent with the EMR from 38 percent before the clinic installed the system.

"The degree of improved efficiency surprised me," lead researcher Gary Brook tells DOTmed. "I didn't think it was going to be that good."

Brook and his team attributed the improvements to faster patient notification of positive test results. Prior to the EMR, many results were sent by snail mail, and paper records often had incorrect patient contact information. "In paper records, you leave it entirely to administrative staff to make sure telephone numbers are up to date," Brook says. "What we find is that when patients come in and are asked about their telephone number, for some reason they often don't give an updated telephone number."

To learn more:
- read this HealthDay News story, via U.S. News & World Report
- see this DOTmed story