Electronic health records (EHR) provide better access points to clinicians to review a patient's medical history than the medical records kept in paper charts. A new study has found access to electronic health records in acute care situations may influence the care given to that patient, and in some cases, failure to review the EHR could have adversely affected the medical management.
The findings are reported in the May 2014 edition Health Affairs. John L. Ulmer, M.D., professor of radiology and chief of neuroradiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), is the corresponding author. Co-authors are Michael J. Franczak and Madeline Klein, former research assistants at MCW; Flavius Raslau, M.D., assistant professor of radiology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine; Jo Bergholte, program manager at MCW; and Leighton P. Mark, professor of radiology at MCW.In the study, three neuroradiologists at Froedtert & the Medical College Froedtert Hospital analyzed 2,000 head CT scans that had been ordered by emergency department physicians.
For each exam, the neuroradiologists compared the medical information generated by the emergency department physicians to the additional information retrieved by interpreting radiologists who had access to EHR patient data. The interpreting radiologists found that in many of the cases, the additional data in the EHR would have a significant impact on the interpretations of the head CT scans.