In The News: New study shows patients save time and money when ERs have access to electronic records

NEWSWIRE: October 17, 2016

DATELINE: Michigan

A new study from the University of Michigan School of Public Health’s reveals that faster access to shared electronic patient health records saves patients time and money when they go to the emergency room.  

The researchers found that when information requests from external organizations were returned electronically instead of by fax, the information was seen by a doctor on average an hour faster.  That time savings also reduced the use of diagnostic tests like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans by 1.6% to 2.5%, and lowered the likelihood of hospital admission by 2.4%.  

Jordan Everson, doctoral candidate in health services, organization and policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health says the data is clear.

“What we found is that, when doctors have electronic access to information from external providers, the doctors can see that information much faster than if they have to wait for a fax,” he said. “When they see that information faster, they can make informed decisions faster, with the ability to order fewer repeat tests and get patients out of the emergency department faster.”

96% of hospitals today have at least some sort of basic electronic health record system, but most emergency rooms don’t have electronic access to patient records outside of their own system.  

Read the full article here.