Electronic health records, clinical decision support, and blood pressure control.

Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
The American journal of managed care (Impact Factor: 2.17). 09/2011; 17(9):626-32.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Adding clinical decision support (CDS) to electronic health records (EHRs) is required under meaningful use legislation, but there has been little national data on effectiveness in improving clinical outcomes. We sought to determine whether EHRs with CDS improved blood pressure control in US primary care visits. Study Design: We used a cross-sectional, nationally representative survey.
We examined adult visits to primary care physicians using the 2007 and 2008 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS).
We found that patients had a mean age of 52 years, 34% were male, 15% had diabetes, and 70% were white. Rates of blood pressure control were significantly higher in visits where both an EHR and CDS (79%) were used, compared with visits where physicians used neither tool (74%; P = .004). Blood pressure control rates remained higher after adjusting for potential confounders. In unadjusted analyses, mean systolic blood pressure was 2 mm Hg lower in visits with the use of both an EHR and CDS, compared with visits where physicians used neither tool (P = .03), and this difference remained significant after adjustment.
The NAMCS shows that physician use of an EHR with CDS is associated with improved blood pressure control. These findings are important because small improvements in blood pressure control are associated with reductions in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

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    ABSTRACT: Improving quality of care through the enhanced use of digital technologies is becoming an increasingly primary focus of the health care industry in general and cardiovascular (CV) medicine in particular. The recent rapid adoption of electronic health records (EHR) has the potential to improve the management of CV disease by removing variability and assuring at least consideration of guideline-recommended care and appropriate use criteria. This can lead to improved cardiac outcomes at all phases of care; beginning with the automated identification of patients who are at increased risk, implementing evidence based medicine for primary CV prevention, using online decision support tools for acute management, and, possibly most importantly, by connecting the health care provider and the patient through open accessibility to their EHR. The widespread use of EHR is the dawn of a new era where evidence based guidelines can be seamlessly translated to patient care and where patients are actively involved in their own health. As transformative as this will be, it is important to recognize that we are currently experiencing only the very earliest potential of the EHR in improving CV outcomes.
    Current Cardiology Reports 02/2014; 16(2):451. DOI:10.1007/s11886-013-0451-6
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives To determine whether clinical decision support (CDS) is associated with improved quality indicators and whether disabling CDS negatively affects these. Study Design/Methods Using the 2006-2009 National Ambulatory and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys, we performed logistic regression to analyze adult primary care visits for the association between the use of CDS (problem lists, preventive care reminders, lab results, lab range notifications, and drug-drug interaction warnings) and quality measures (blood pressure control, cancer screening, health education, influenza vaccination, and visits related to adverse drug events). Results There were an estimated 900 million outpatient primary care visits to clinics with EHRs from 2006-2009; 97% involved CDS, 77% were missing at least 1 CDS, and 15% had at least 1 CDS disabled. The presence of CDS was associated with improved blood pressure control (86% vs 82%; OR 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.5) and more visits not related to adverse drug events (99.9% vs 99.8%; OR 3.0; 95% CI, 1.3-7.3); these associations were also present when comparing practices with CDS against practices that had disabled CDS. Electronic problem lists were associated with increased odds of having a visit with controlled blood pressure (86% vs 80%; OR 1.4; 95% CI, 1.3-1.6). Lab result notification was associated with increased odds of ordering cancer screening (15% vs 10%; OR 1.5; 95% CI, 1.03-2.2). Conclusions The use of CDS was associated with improvement in some quality indicators. Not having at least 1 CDS was common; disabling CDS was infrequent. This suggests that meaningful use standards may improve national quality indicators and health outcomes, once fully implemented.
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