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First Study to Show EMRs, EHRs Lead to Better Outcomes in Diabetes

Posted on September 1, 2011 I Written By

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC in 2009. He can be contacted at

A great post over at the Doctors LoungeElectronic Records Tied to Better Diabetes Care — cites a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine today, Sept 1.  The study, Electronic Health Records and Quality of Diabetes Care by Cebul et al,  is a fairly big one considering the place where it was published and the naysayers out there citing past studies that failed to show significant improvements in health outcomes in the setting of implementing EMR and EHR use.

However, as a previous insider to the academic, ivory-tower world, I have a hunch that some major liberal politicking is likely involved at least a bit here.  After all, the HITECH Act is the initiative of a democratic administration that desperately wants to be vindicated as being right and not wasting money in a downtrodden economic time.  But nevertheless, once a study like this — from reputable centers such as The Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University — is through the strict hurdles of getting published in a journal with the magnitude of the New England Journal of Medicine, the message will be quite powerful.  A new king-of-the-hill in studies of EMR efficacy may be afoot.

ADDENDUM:  Since posted this, a lot of other news sites, including the Bangor Daily News and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, have now come out with even more coverage on this big news

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC.  He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC, as a solo practice in 2009.  He can be reached at

HHS Health IT Stories from the Road

Posted on May 21, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

HHS has put up an interesting new part of their website called “Health IT Journey: Stories from the road.” Here’s their description:

Have you, your practice, or your organization been through a health IT implementation? We’d like you to share your story with us. After internal review, your story may be published to inspire other providers and organizations to become meaningful users of Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Let’s learn together.

Of course, it also comes with the following disclaimer:

Posting of the articles on this Web site does not necessarily constitute HHS or ONC endorsement of the procedures followed; vendors, products and services named; or overall performance of the facility’s delivery of care. We do hope you find these narratives insightful and useful in your efforts to adopt health information technology and improve patient care.

It seems like ONC is mostly looking for stories that have been published somewhere. They link to 3 articles already, but only one of those is actually available without paying for the service or signing up. This was an article about using an EHR to quantify the number of patients you’re seeing in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Of course, you can probably imagine how high the bar is to get your story shared in the NEJM. With that said, I’m always interested in posting interesting stories on this site about people’s use of an EMR or experiences with the EMR selection and implementation processes. So, if you have a story you want to share, just send it to me on the EMR and EHR Contact form. It will be interesting to see how HHS/ONC will look at publications on blogs like this one, but they’ve been pretty open to bloggers in the past.

It will be really interesting to see what other stories are submitted, approved and published by ONC. I do applaud their efforts to try and spread the stories of EMR success. That’s a very good thing. It’s just too bad they’re promoting these stories that are stuck behind a pay wall. That’s not the way to spread good stories of HIT success.