Today’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine has linked the proper use of electronic health records and better diabetes care and improved outcomes, according to one study. While the researchers note that such a link has never been shown before, the new study does provide evidence that electronic health records may actually assist in improving diabetes care.
The authors of the study concluded, “These findings support the premise that federal policies encouraging the meaningful use of EHRs may improve the quality of care across insurance types.”
While this is one study in one area of medicine it does lend itself to further discussion of the role of electronic medical records in the management and practice of healthcare. Prior to this study, we’ve chronicled medical errors caused by sloppy or incomplete paper health records. There is a great deal of data that points to the possibility that paper records are not the most efficient nor the most accurate form of charting patient histories or recording treatment plans. Perhaps this study is a step in the right direction that will provide impetus to expanding the use of electronic records.
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