Study: EMRs may not always improve care

While EMRs still hold a great deal of promise for improving some forms of medical care, they may not have as great an impact on the outcome of walk-in doctor visits. That's the conclusion drawn by a new study that appeared this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Working with colleagues, Dr. Jeffrey Linder, an associate physician in the division of general internal medicine and primary care at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, reviewed a group of ambulatory care visits to non-federally funded, community, office-based physician practices across the United States. He then analyzed the visits using 17 ambulatory quality measures. Overall, there was no difference in performance between visits where physicians did and did not use EMRs. Practices using EMRs did do a better job of avoiding tranquilizers for depressed patients and avoiding routine urinalysis, but for some patients, seemed to have a worse track record at prescribing statin drugs to patients with high cholesterol.

To find out more about the study:
- read this article in The Washington Post

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