Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study: EHR Associated with Improved Outcomes for Diabetes Patients

October 3, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

According to a recent study from the Oakland-based integrated provider, Kaiser Permanente, use of EHRs can lead to improvements in drug-treatment intensification, monitoring, and risk-factor control for patients that have diabetes. The study, which appears in the current issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, found that with patients who have poor control of their diabetes and lipids there were greater improvements as well.

 “What we saw in this study is that the EHR really helped our alignment with quality measures and clinical guidelines for treatment,” Marc Jaffe, M.D., clinical leader, Kaiser Permanente Northern California Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Program, said in a statement. “Increases in information availability, decision support and order-entry functionality help clinicians to identify the most appropriate patients for drug-treatment intensification and retesting, which leads to better care of patients with diabetes.”

The were improvements in drug-treatment intensification (increases in medication) for patients with HbA1c values of 7 percent or greater and increases in guideline-recommended follow-up testing for patients who had elevated lab results. HbA1c levels indicate how high a patient’s blood glucose has been on average over an 8- to 12-week period. High levels of low-density lipoproteins (measured by LDL-C levels), or “bad” cholesterol, can lead to a buildup of cholesterol in the arteries. The researchers say the use of an EHR was associated with improved HbA1c and LDL-C levels among all patients.

The researchers used what’s called a quasi-experimental design with outpatient EHR implementation sequentially across 17 medical centers in Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California integrated system. The study included 169,711 patients with diabetes mellitus. Researchers adjusted for patient characteristics, medical center, time trends and facility-level clustering.

With Kaiser’s widespread EHR, researchers were able to examine data and evaluate the EHR effects as well as concurrent controls to adjust for trends in diabetes care practice unrelated to EHR, explained the researchers.

This study follows previous research published in Health Affairs in 2010, which showed that secure messaging improves the effectiveness of care for patients with diabetes and hypertension.



Mayo Clinic, ASU Partner for Medical Education, Healthcare Innovation

The Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University have announced a partnership centered on transforming medical education and healthcare in the U.S. through a variety of innovation efforts.

CMS Hospital Compare Website Updated with VA Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the inclusion of Veterans Administration (VA) hospital performance data as part of the federal agency’s Hospital Compare website.

CMS Awards Funding to Special Innovation Projects

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded 20, two-year Special Innovation Projects (SIPs) aimed at local efforts to deliver better care at lower cost.

Center of Excellence in Genomic Science to be Established in Chicago

The National Human Genome Research Institute has awarded $10.6 million over five years for the establishment of a new research center in Chicago to advance genomic science.

EHNAC and HITRUST Combine HIPAA Security Criteria, CSF Framework

The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) and the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) announced plans to streamline their accreditation and certification programs.

Halamka on MACRA Final Rule: “CMS is Listening and I Thank Them”

Health IT notable expert John Halamka, M.D., CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, recently weighed in on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) final rule.