EMR improves overall quality of healthcare

May 1, 2005

Quality of care for patients at VA facilities improved following the introduction of an integrated electronic medical record, performance measurement, and other system changes, according to the findings of a new VA study.

Quality of care for patients at VA facilities improved following the introduction of an integrated electronic medical record, performance measurement, and other system changes, according to the findings of a new VA study.

Researchers investigated the effect of sweeping changes such as the introduction of an EMR on the quality of care (Ann Intern Med 2004;141[12]:938-945). In 2003, the same team of researchers had demonstrated that U.S. adults were receiving recommended care about half of the time.

The team measured quality at 12 VA healthcare systems and 12 community systems between 1997 and 2000 using a chart-based quality instrument consisting of 348 indicators targeting 26 conditions. The VA scored significantly higher than a national sample for adjusted overall quality (67% versus 51%), chronic disease care (72% versus 59%), and preventive care (64% versus 44%).