EHRs Help Lower Costs, Deaths From Hospital-Acquired Conditions
The widespread adoption of electronic health records has helped hospitals reduce costs and patient deaths stemming from hospital-acquired conditions, according to a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Health Data Management reports.
For the report, AHRQ compared the rates of avoidable hospital-acquired conditions between 2010 and 2014, using a baseline estimate of consequent deaths and health care costs developed when HHS launched the Partnership for Patients in 2011.
The program was created to help reduce a specific set of hospital-acquired conditions.
According to the report, the number of hospital-acquired conditions among patients fell by 2.1 million -- or 17% -- between 2010 and 2014.
As a result, fewer patients died and health care costs were lowered by almost $20 billion.
AHRQ attributed to decreases to the:
- Implementation and improved use of EHRs; and
- Development of public-private care quality and patient safety initiatives, including those developed by AHRQ.
However, AHRQ said the rate of hospital-acquired conditions "is still too high," noting that nearly 10% of patients hospitalized between 2013 and 2014 experienced one or more of the conditions measured (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 12/2).
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