But a new study comparing 3,000 hospitals at various stages in the adoption of computerized health records has found little difference in the cost and quality of care.
“The way electronic medical records are used now has not yet had a real impact on the quality or cost of health care,” said Dr. Ashish K. Jha, an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, who led the research project.
Unfortunately the study looked at performance measures, and performance measures do not equal quality. But the study still makes a strong statement because performance measures represent the bare minimum standards, the lowest of the low hanging fruit. So if EMRs didn't improve performance measures you can be darn sure they had little or no impact on real quality.
I agree with the comments of the interviewees in the article, that we have years to go before we utilize EMRs effectively, in a way that will improve patient care.