Study: EMRs alone can't improve diabetes care

EMRs have long been held out as a key tool in the fight to better manage chronic disease. Given their capacity to review records automatically--and let physicians know when standard steps weren't taken--the idea seemed like a no-brainer. In reality, though, EMRs in and of themselves may not help much when it comes to improving diabetes care, a new study suggests. The study, which was published in the Annals of Family Medicine, looked the care diabetics got in 50 primary care practices. Researchers concluded that the care diabetics got in the 37 offices that weren't using an EMR was actually better than patients seen in offices that did have EMRs. On the other hand, researchers did also note that most of the 13 offices using an EMR had underpowered systems which might not have been up to the job. Regardless, EMRs are more likely to improve care when used as part of an overall quality improvement initiative, researchers said.

To find out more about the study:
- read this HealthDay News item