According to a new study conducted by BMJ Quality and Safety, EHR can help reduce the instances of hospital readmissions by stratifying risk, thus giving doctors the additional insights they need to adjust their treatment.
The study examined over 1,700 inpatients with heart failure readmissions and other heart-related conditions at Parkland Health and Hospital System. Specifically, they looked at patients with heart failure, as well as two control conditions, acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and pneumonia (PNA.)
According to the study’s methodology, “the EHR system stratified all patients admitted with heart failure on a daily basis by their 30-day readmission risk using a published electronic predictive model. Patients that showed the highest risk received an intensive set of evidence-based interventions designed to reduce readmission using existing resources.”
What they discovered was the the EHR data helped them reduce the instances of hospital readmissions by a significant margin. From the study, “The unadjusted readmission rate declined from 26.2% in the pre-intervention period to 21.2% in the post-intervention period.”
Another study, this one through the El Camino Hospital in California, found that readmissions were reduced by 25% when EHR used predictive analysis to guide patient care.
Stop and think about what this could mean for your own practice or facility, and for the health care industry, and patient health and safety, as a whole. According to some studies, nearly 2 million Medicare patients annually are readmitted within 30 days of their initial procedure due to complications or other conditions.
Using EHR’s predictive analysis could eliminate 25%, at least (in these early stages) of these patients. This would cut down on mortality, and the high risk of secondary infection these patients are exposed to when they re-enter the hospital.
I’m excited by these findings because it shows the huge potential EHR has for improving patient care. And I’m sure that as the technology continues to evolve, we’ll see readmission rates drop even further.