• Electronic medical records as “gold mines for medical research”

    A disappointing report published last week by the RAND Corp. found that electronic health records actually may be raising the nation’s medical bills.

    But the report neglected one powerful incentive for the switch to electronic records: the resulting databases of clinical information are gold mines for medical research. The monitoring and analysis of electronic medical records, some scientists say, have the potential to make every patient a participant in a vast, ongoing clinical trial, pinpointing treatments and side effects that would be hard to discern from anecdotal case reports or expensive clinical trials.

    More by Peter Jaret in The New York Times.

    @afrakt

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    • Yes! This is very important, and oft-ignored when talking about whether EHR’s are “working”. Whether or not there are immediate cost-savings due to increased efficiency/fewer duplicated tests, EHR’s are a huge potential data source for comparative effectiveness research, quality improvement research, and patient-centered outcomes research. Hopefully this research can improve quality (and perhaps lower costs).