Categorization, organization and filtering of patient information is dramatically improved by electronic health records. This helps a physician manage patients more effectively and perform their own work more efficiently.
A study published last month in Health Affairs looked at 163 physicians in Massachusetts who were part of a pilot program organized by the state’s eHealth Collaborative.
Beginning in 2006, the group funded and set up EHR systems in different physicians offices in three towns: Brockton, Newburyport, and North Adams. They handled technical aspects and redesign of the physicians’ workflow.
In 2005, before the EHR was implemented, doctors were surveyed about creation of patient registries. Four years later, they were surveyed again.
Respondents showed a significant change in their ability to sort patients by specific factors. Although they could already sort by diagnosis, different registries became useful after EHR was implemented.
A quote from the abstract on HealthAffairs.org
Physicians who participated in the program increased their ability to generate some types of registries—specifically, for laboratory results and medication use. Our analysis also suggested that physicians who used their electronic health records more intensively were more likely to use registries, particularly in caring for patients with diabetes, compared to physicians reporting less avid use of electronic health records.
From 2005 to 2009, the participants’ ability to generate a registry based on lab results jumped from 44 percent to 78 percent. During the same period, registries for medications increased 33 percent to 83 percent.