EHR tool prompts patient care for chronic kidney disease: 4 study insights

An EHR tool, combined with a patient engagement intervention, improve some, but not all, aspects of chronic kidney disease care, according to a study published in The American Journal of Managed Care.

For the study, the researchers enrolled 153 primary care physicians treating 3,947 high-risk and 3,744 low-risk patients with stage III CKD across 13 ambulatory health centers in Massachusetts.

A subset of physicians used an EHR tool during the study period, which presented a set of electronic alerts during office visits to recommend risk-appropriate CKD care. Patients who visited these physicians also received personalized educational information to improve care engagement.

Here are four study insights.

1. High-risk patients who received care with the EHR tool and educational information were significantly more likely to visit a nephrologist compared to patients who did not have access to these engagement strategies.

2. Low-risk patients who had access to the engagement strategies were significantly more likely to receive urine microalbumin screening compared to patients who did not have access to these interventions.

3. There was no difference between the intervention and typical care groups in terms of prescription of an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker for either high-risk or low-risk patients.

4. The study authors concluded, "A combined program of EHR tools and patient engagement improved some areas of CKD care, but substantial gaps remain."

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