EHR Data Significant to Radiological Decision Making in EDs, Study Finds

A new study published in the journal Health Affairs has found electronic health record data plays a significant role in interpreting CT head scans in emergency departments.

For the study, three neuroradiologists analyzed 2,000 head CT scans. For each scan, the neuroradiologists compared medical information generated by ED physicians to information generated by interpreting radiologists who had access to additional EHR-derived patient data.

The study found in 22 percent of the CT exams, the additional EHR data the interpreting radiologists had access to could potentially have a clinically significant impact on the interpretation of the head CT scan.

The study also found in six percent of the CT exams the additional EHR data was "very likely" to impact the radiologists interpretations and not having access to the additional EHR data would have negatively impacted the medical treatment of the patients.

"Healthcare providers must recognize the value of implementing EHRs and the potential harm that may come from their absence, while policymakers need to continue to work toward nationwide exchange of health information," said the study's authors. 

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