ABSTRACT: Improvements in the quality of health care services are often measured using data present in medical records. Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) contain potentially valuable new sources of health data. However, data quality in EMRs may not be optimal and should be assessed. Data reliability (are the same data elements being measured over time?) is a prerequisite for data validity (are the data accurate?). Our objective was to measure the reliability of data for preventive services in primary care EMRs during the transition to EMR.
Our data sources were randomly selected eligible patients' medical records and data obtained from provincial administrative datasets. Eighteen community-based family physicians in Toronto, Ontario that implemented EMRs starting in 2006 participated in this study. We measured the proportion of patients eligible for a service (Pap smear, screening mammogram or influenza vaccination) that received the service. We compared the change in rates of selected preventive services calculated from the medical record audits with the change in administrative datasets.
In the first year of EMR use (2006) services decreased by 8.7% more (95% CI -11.0%- - 6.4%, p < 0.0001) when measured through medical record audits as compared with administrative datasets. Services increased by 2.4% more (95% CI 0%-4.9%, p = 0.05) in the medical record audits during the second year of EMR use (2007).
There were differences between the change measured through medical record audits and administrative datasets. Problems could include difficulties with organizing new data entry processes as well as continued use of both paper and EMRs. Data extracted from EMRs had limited reliability during the initial phase of EMR implementation. Unreliable data interferes with the ability to measure and improve health care quality.
BMC Health Services Research 05/2012; 12:116. · 1.66 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To study the effect of electronic medical record (EMR) implementation on preventive services covered by Ontario's pay-for-performance program.
Prospective double-cohort study.
Twenty-seven community-based family physicians.
Eighteen physicians implemented EMRs, while 9 physicians continued to use paper records.
Provision of 4 preventive services affected by pay-for-performance incentives (Papanicolaou tests, screening mammograms, fecal occult blood testing, and influenza vaccinations) in the first 2 years of EMR implementation.
After adjustment, combined preventive services for the EMR group increased by 0.7%, a smaller increase than that seen in the non-EMR group (P = .55, 95% confidence interval -2.8 to 3.9).
When compared with paper records, EMR implementation had no significant effect on the provision of the 4 preventive services studied.
Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien 10/2011; 57(10):e381-9. · 1.19 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To apply the diffusion-of-innovations theory to the examination of factors that are perceived by family physicians as influencing the implementation of electronic medical records (EMRs).
Qualitative study with 2 focus groups 18 months after EMR implementation; participants also took part in a concurrent quantitative study examining EMR implementation and preventive services.
Twelve community-based family physicians.
We employed a semistructured interview guide. The interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim; 2 researchers independently categorized and coded the transcripts and then met to compare and contrast their findings, category mapping, and interpretations. Findings were then mapped to an existing theoretical framework.
Multiple barriers to EMR implementation were described. These included lack of relative advantage for many processes, high complexity of the system, low compatibility with physician needs and past experiences, difficulty with adaptation of the EMR to the organization and adaptation of the organization to the EMR, and lack of organizational slack. Positive factors were the presence of a champion and relative advantages for some processes.
Early EMR implementation experience is consistent with theoretical concepts associated with implementation of innovations. A problematic implementation process helps to explain, at least in part, the lack of improvement in preventive services in our quantitative results.
Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien 10/2011; 57(10):e390-7. · 1.19 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Primary care reform in Ontario, Canada started with the introduction of new enrollment models, the two largest of which are Family Health Networks (FHNs), a capitation-based model, and Family Health Groups (FHGs), a blended fee-for-service model. The purpose of this study was to evaluate differences in performance between FHNs and FHGs and to compare performance before and after physicians joined these new primary care groups.
This study used Ontario administrative claims data to compare performance measures in FHGs and FHNs. The study population included physicians who belonged to a FHN or FHG for at least two years. Patients were included in the analyses if they enrolled with a physician in the two years after the physician joined a FHN or FHG, and also if they saw the physician in a two year period prior to the physician joining a FHN or FHG. Performance was derived from the administrative data, and included measures of preventive screening for cancer (breast, cervical, colorectal) and chronic disease management (diabetes, heart failure, asthma).
Performance measures did not vary consistently between models. In some cases, performance approached current benchmarks (Pap smears, mammograms). In other cases it was improving in relation to previous measures (colorectal cancer screening). There were no changes in screening for cervical cancer or breast cancer after joining either a FHN or FHG. Colorectal cancer screening increased in both FHNs and FHGs. After enrolling in either a FHG or a FHN, prescribing performance measures for diabetes care improved. However, annual eye examinations decreased for younger people with diabetes after joining a FHG or FHN. There were no changes in performance measures for heart failure management or asthma care after enrolling in either a FHG or FHN.
Some improvements in preventive screening and diabetes management which were seen amongst people after they enrolled may be attributed to incentive payments offered to physicians within FHGs and FHNs. However, these primary care delivery models need to be compared with other delivery models and fee for service practices in order to describe more specifically what aspects of model delivery and incentives affect care.
BMC Family Practice 06/2011; 12:44. · 1.80 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The quality of electronic medical record (EMR) data is known to be problematic; research on improving these data is needed.
The primary objective was to explore the impact of using a data entry clerk to improve data quality in primary care EMRs. The secondary objective was to evaluate the feasibility of implementing this intervention.
We used a before and after design for this pilot study. The participants were 13 community based family physicians and four allied health professionals in Toronto, Canada. Using queries programmed by a data manager, a data clerk was tasked with re-entering EMR information as coded or structured data for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), smoking, specialist designations and interprofessional encounter headers. We measured data quality before and three to six months after the intervention. We evaluated feasibility by measuring acceptability to clinicians and workload for the clerk.
After the intervention, coded COPD entries increased by 38% (P = 0.0001, 95% CI 23 to 51%); identifiable data on smoking categories increased by 27% (P = 0.0001, 95% CI 26 to 29%); referrals with specialist designations increased by 20% (P = 0.0001, 95% CI 16 to 22%); and identifiable interprofessional headers increased by 10% (P = 0.45, 95 CI -3 to 23%). Overall, the intervention was rated as being at least moderately useful and moderately usable. The data entry clerk spent 127 hours restructuring data for 11 729 patients.
Utilising a data manager for queries and a data clerk to re-enter data led to improvements in EMR data quality. Clinicians found this approach to be acceptable.
Informatics in primary care 01/2011; 19(4):241-50.