Does Use of EHRs Help Improve Quality?

    • June 9, 2011

As physicians nationwide increase their use of electronic health records (EHRs), this brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation suggests a link between use of EHRs and dramatic improvement in physician adherence to evidence-based medicine.

Recent data from Cleveland—one of RWJF’s Aligning Forces for Quality communities—show that patients with diabetes who are cared for by doctors who use EHRs received all the recommended care for their condition 51 percent of the time, compared with just seven percent of the time for those with paper records. The brief is the first in a series demonstrating how providers in communities are responding to legislation affecting health care.

In 2009, Congress allocated stimulus funds to kick start EHR adoption. Doctors and hospitals who treat Medicare patients face a financial penalty if they do not adopt EHRs by 2015.