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Study: Experienced EHR Users Finding Clinical Value

January 3, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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A recent study from researchers in the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT (ONC) has discovered that experienced physicians are finding clinical value in using electronic health records (EHRs).
Authors of the study, which appeared in a recent edition of the journal, Health Services Research, looked at the responses of 3,180 physicians to the Physician Workflow Survey questionnaire. What they found is physicians who had experience using the EHR were able to detect critical lab values or uncover potential medication errors. In total, the researchers found that approximately 75 percent of the respondents said there were clinical benefits to keeping patient histories in a digital file. 
According to Jennifer King, Ph.D., chief of research and evaluation at the ONC and lead author of this research, who was interviewed by Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health, one-third of the respondents reported that EHRs helped them identify needed lab tests or facilitated direct communication with patients. These clinical benefits to the EHR, King says, reinforce the effectiveness of the meaningful use policy. 
“These policies may increase the rate at which physicians are able to use their EHRs to realize benefits such as not ordering duplicate lab tests and identifying needed tests,” King said to Health Behavior News Service.


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