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Now You've Got the Stats (Clinical)

February 12, 2009
by Mark Hagland
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I was very excited to hear of the results from a large-scale Johns Hopkins study (released on Jan. 26) of more than 40 hospitals that found clearly that core clinical information systems use is associated with improved patient safety across a variety of key clinical areas of the hospital. The study, published in theArchives of Internal Medicine, found that hospitals whose technologies ranked in the top third were associated with a 15 percent decrease in patient mortality. In other words, 100,000 lives are being saved annually because of core-clinicals implementation. What's more, clinical decision support systems implementation was associated with a 21-percent decrease in the chances of patient complications; and CPOE systems implementation was linked to a 55-percent decrease in the odds of CABG mortality and a 9percent decrease in the chances of AMI death. To me, this is the kind of clear, documented evidence we've all been looking for from the clinical literature to support what everyone knows must be done in any case--the implementation of the EMR, clinical decision support, CPOE, eMAR, nursing documentation, physician documentation, pharmacy, and RIS/PACS systems that will help improve efficiency, clinician workflow, patient safety, and patient care quality. I look forward to additional studies that can document clinical IS-facilitated care improvement--and to the further cementing of the growing consensus for the absolute need to move forward quickly and competently in all these areas.

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