EHR Adoption Linked to Morality Rate Reduction

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Adoption of electronic health records is associated with a reduction in mortality rates in US hospitals.
Adoption of electronic health records is associated with a reduction in mortality rates in US hospitals.

HealthDay News — Adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) is associated with a reduction in mortality rates in U.S. hospitals, according to a study published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

Sunny C. Lin, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used data for 2008 to 2013 to examine the correlation between EHR adoption and 30-day mortality rates.

The researchers found that baseline adoption correlated with a 0.11-percentage-point higher rate per function. Maturation of the baseline functions over time correlated with a 0.09-percentage-point reduction in mortality rate per year per function. There was a 0.21-percentage-point reduction in mortality rate per year per function for each new function adopted in the study period. Effect modification was seen based on hospital size and teaching status, with greater gains realized by small and non-teaching hospitals.

"Overall, we found that EHR adoption has a positive impact on mortality rates, though it takes time for this impact to be realized," the authors write. "Furthermore, hospitals of different types may realize different levels of benefit from EHR adoption, and small and non-teaching hospitals seem to have the most to gain."

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