A great post over at the Doctors Lounge — Electronic Records Tied to Better Diabetes Care — cites a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine today, Sept 1. The study, Electronic Health Records and Quality of Diabetes Care by Cebul et al, is a fairly big one considering the place where it was published and the naysayers out there citing past studies that failed to show significant improvements in health outcomes in the setting of implementing EMR and EHR use.
However, as a previous insider to the academic, ivory-tower world, I have a hunch that some major liberal politicking is likely involved at least a bit here. After all, the HITECH Act is the initiative of a democratic administration that desperately wants to be vindicated as being right and not wasting money in a downtrodden economic time. But nevertheless, once a study like this — from reputable centers such as The Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University — is through the strict hurdles of getting published in a journal with the magnitude of the New England Journal of Medicine, the message will be quite powerful. A new king-of-the-hill in studies of EMR efficacy may be afoot.
Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC, as a solo practice in 2009. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.