Purpose: To assess the impact of using an advanced electronic health record (EHR) on hospital quality and patient satisfaction.
Method: This retrospective, cross-sectional analysis was conducted in 2012 to evaluate the association between advanced EHR use (Healthcare Information Management Systems Society [HIMSS] Stage 6 or 7 as of December 2012) and estimated process and experience of care scores for hospitals under the Medicare Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program, using data from the American Hospital Association for 2008 to 2010. Generalized linear regression models were fit to test the association between advanced EHR use with process of care and experience of care, controlling for hospital characteristics. In a second analysis, the models included variables to account for HIMSS stage of advanced EHR use.
Results: The study included 2,988 hospitals, with 248 (8.3%) classified as advanced EHR users (HIMSS Stage 6 or 7). After controlling for hospital characteristics, advanced EHR use was associated with a 4.2-point-higher process of care score (P < .001). Hospitals with Stage 7 EHRs had 11.7 points higher process of care scores, but Stage 6 users had scores that were not substantially different from those of nonadvanced users. There was no significant difference in estimated experience of care scores by level of advanced EHR use.
Conclusions: This study evaluated the effectiveness of the U.S. federal government’s investment in hospital information technology infrastructure. Results suggest that the most advanced EHRs have the greatest payoff in improving clinical process of care scores, without detrimentally impacting the patient experience.