Study: Patient-Centered Medical Homes, EHRs Lead to Better Care

The obvious continues to become more obvious……

Doctors who practice in patient-centered medical homes and use electronic health record systems generally provide more recommended care than those who do not work in a PCMH and use paper or electronic records, according to a studypublished in the Annals of Internal MedicineHealth IT Analytics reports (Bresnick, Health IT Analytics, 6/4).

For the study, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College used data from six insurers and the Taconic Health Information Network and Community to analyze the Hudson Valley region of New York. The data ranged from 2008 to 2010 and included more than 143,000 patients who received care from 675 primary care providers.

The providers were analyzed based on 10 quality metrics and organized into three groups, which included:

  • 367 non-PCMH providers who used paper records;
  • 118 non-PCMH providers who used EHRs; and
  • 190 EHR-enabled PCMH providers (Goedert, Health Data Management, 6/4).

The study found that primary care providers participating in the PCMH model improved the care quality they provided over time at a substantially higher rate than their non-PCMH providers.

Further, the study found that PCMH providers improved significantly more than other providers in four of the 10 quality measures, including:

  • Chlamydia screenings;
  • Colorectal cancer screenings;
  • A1C testing for diabetic patients; and
  • Eye exams.

Overall, the chance of quality improvement in the PCMH group was 6% higher than in the EHR-only group and 7% higher than in the paper-based group.

However, the study authors noted that the highest quality improvements were associated with the “combination of EHRs plus organizational changes.” They added, “EHRs alone were not enough” (Health IT Analytics, 6/4).