(HealthDay News) – Use of outpatient electronic health records (EHRs) is associated with improved clinical care and outcomes in patients with diabetes, according to a study published in the Oct 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Mary Reed, DrPH, from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA, and colleagues analyzed data from 169,711 patients with diabetes mellitus enrolled in Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

The researchers found that use of an EHR was associated with statistically significant improvements in treatment intensification after HbA1c values of ≥9% (odds ratio [OR], 1.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06–1.14) or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels of 2.6–3.3mmol/L (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.03–1.09). The EHR was also significantly associated with increases in one-year retesting for HbA1c and LDL-C levels among all patients, and decreased 90-day retesting among patients with HbA1c <7% or LDL-C <2.6mmol/L. There were also significant reductions in HbA1c and LDL-C levels associated with EHR use.

“Use of a commercially available certified EHR was associated with improved drug treatment intensification, monitoring, and physiologic control among patients with diabetes, with greater improvements among patients with worse control and less testing in patients already meeting guideline-recommended glycemic and lipid targets,” Reed and colleagues conclude.

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