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ACP: Electronic Health Records' Potential Addressed

Research says increasing use of quality measurement in EHR systems is critical

FRIDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic health records (EHRs) are vital to achieving effective reporting of quality measures, according to research presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Physicians (ACP), held from April 22 to 24 in Toronto.

According to the article -- "EHR-Based Quality Measurement and Reporting—Critical for Meaningful Use and Health Care Improvement" -- making EHRs the basis for quality measurement systems would allow for a more complete assessment of patient outcomes and care processes, and ultimately result in a set of quality data that is more clinically useful.

The authors say that EHR-based quality measurement and reporting programs should facilitate higher-quality, cost-effective health care; engage all health care stakeholders; rely on information routinely collected during provision of clinical care; facilitate the real-time collection of data that support the effective use of point-of-care clinical decision support algorithms; and define data elements in a standard way to enable health information technology developers to implement them effectively. They also note that such programs should not increase administrative work and/or impose uncompensated financial costs on health care providers, patients, or health care organizations.

"Physicians using EHRs for effective quality measurement face significant implementation barriers. The challenge to making this happen is ensuring that EHRs are capable of reporting clinical outcomes and measures, and that physician offices have the necessary financial and work force resources," ACP president, Joseph W. Stubbs, M.D., said in a statement. "However, the benefits that improved quality measurement could have for patient care would be tremendous."

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