Physicians with electronic health records are more able to generate patient registries

Research Activities, May 2010, No. 357

Evidence suggests that the ability to generate patient registries with clinical information such as patient diagnoses and medications is essential for improving the quality and safety of health care at the population level. Eighty percent of physicians reported that their practices could generate registries of patients with a particular diagnosis and 56 percent could generate registries of patients having a particular lab result or taking a particular medication, according to a survey by a team of researchers led by Adam Wright, Ph.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital. For all three types of registries, providers with electronic health records (EHRs) were significantly more likely to be able to perform registry functions than providers using other record systems.

The researchers surveyed a total of 1,345 physicians practicing in the State of Massachusetts. In this group, there were 387 practices with an EHR. The ease with which registries could be generated varied greatly. Overall, 39 percent of physicians indicated that diagnosis registries could be generated easily or very easily, but only 15 percent reported that registries based on laboratory test results were easy or very easy to generate.

The use or nonuse of key EHR features affected the ability to perform related registry functions. For example, 90 percent of physicians who used an electronic problem list had the ability to perform diagnosis registry functions at least some of the time, compared with only 68 percent of physicians who lacked access to an electronic problem list. The study was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS15697).

See "Ability to generate patient registries among practices with and without electronic health records," by Dr. Wright, Elizabeth A. McGlinchey, B.A., Eric G. Poon, M.D., M.P.H., and others in the Journal of Medical Internet Research 11(3), pp. e31, 2009.

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Current as of May 2010
Internet Citation: Physicians with electronic health records are more able to generate patient registries: Research Activities, May 2010, No. 357. May 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/may10/0510RA16.html