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Stroke Patients Don't Appear to Benefit From EHR Use

Treatment results similar whether or not hospital has switched to electronic records

MONDAY, May 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients fare about the same in terms of quality of care and illness progression whether their hospitals have embraced electronic health records or not. These findings were published in the May 12 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Between 2007 and 2010, researchers looked at 1,236 hospitals, 511 of which used electronic health records. The authors found that the records made no difference to ischemic stroke patients' recovery even when they adjusted statistics for various patient characteristics. However, the researchers did find that patients in hospitals with electronic records were discharged sooner.

The new study is a wake-up call, according to John Windle, M.D., chief of cardiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, who wrote an accompanying commentary. Windle notes electronic health records haven't been proven to improve quality of health care, the health of large groups of people, or efficiency.

The records "do not appear to be sufficient, at least as currently implemented, to improve overall quality of care or outcomes for this important disease state," lead author Karen Joynt, M.D., M.P.H., a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, said in a journal news release.

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