Study: Stanford Physicians Used EMR Data to Guide Real-Time Clinical Decisions

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Physicians at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, Calif., have successfully used data from an electronic medical record system to make real-time decisions for patient care, according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The physicians were presented with a 13-year-old patient with systemic lupus erythematosus who also had nephrotic-range proteinuria, antiphospholipid antibodies and pancreatitis. The authors sought data on anticoagulation for children with these conditions as they were concerned the patient would develop thrombosis. In the absence of published studies and a consensus opinion from colleagues, the researchers turned to their EMR system and research data warehouse, called the Stanford Translational Research Integrated Database Environment.

The authors found a higher prevalence of thrombosis in pediatric SLE patients with persistent nephrotic-range proteinuria and pancreatitis compared to those without these risk factors. The physicians decided to give the patient anticoagulants within 24 hours after admission and the patient did not develop thrombosis or have any sequelae related to her anticoagulation.

The authors said this case demonstrates that EMR data can be useful beyond providing information for clinical research by guiding real-time clinical decisions. The authors suggested that this process may become more widely used as the adoption of EMRs and informatics tools grows.

Related Articles on EMRs:

Half of Physicians Say EHRs are Safer Than Paper, But Patients Still Wary
Bill Would Grant Legal Protection to Medicare, Medicaid Providers Using EMRs

Veterans Affairs Amends Rule Restricting Medical Record Sharing With Department of Defense



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