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Study: Combined use of electronic records could help treat heart attacks

May 28, 2013
Healthcare Consulting By LW Consulting Inc.

While the use of a single EHR can provide its own benefits to a medical practice in the process of converting, the combined strength of multiple electronic resources might greatly aid in analyzing heart attack information. A study demonstrating an example of this recently appeared in the British Medical Journal, and suggests a possibility for the use of a more integrated approach to healthcare consulting services

The British study was conducted using four different sources of patient information to gauge the ways in which acute heart problems were assessed in more than 21,000 patients over a period of six years, and specifically whether such occurences were recorded.  Across all of these different types of records, certain patterns were seen, leading the researchers to conlcude thier report by noting the importance of consulting multiple forms of healthcare information in these situations.

While more than 63 percent of the myocardial infarctions investigated were documented in two or more electronic sources, the study found that using a single source led to such incidents being "underestimated" by as much as 50 percent. 

"Each data source missed a substantial proportion of myocardial infarction events," the authors wrote in their conclusion. "Failure to use linked electronic health records from primary care, hospital care, disease registry and death certificates may lead to biased estimates of the incidence and outcome of myocardial infarction."

Healthcare consulting services can help identify weaknesses in a provider's systems by locating which practices are unhelpful or lead to less efficiency overall. Selecting a trusted consultant can be a key step in progressing toward greater compliance with HIPAA regulations.