Cardiologists are better able to diagnose patients' risk of death with full medical history
One of the main benefits of electronic health record systems is that they make a patient's entire medical history available to physicians. In the case of cardiologists, this may be particularly important.
A group of researchers from the University of Michigan Health System recently found that physicians are better able to predict a patient's risk of dying from heart failure when they are able to view the number of times an individual has been hospitalized for heart-related treatment, according to Cardiovascular Business. This may allow physicians to direct resources to where they are most needed.
The team said that certain individuals may have few of the commonly recognized risk factors for dying from heart failure, which include high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and diabetes, yet still be at risk for the condition. In this small subset of patients, the number of hospitalizations appears to be the greatest predictor of their risk of death.
Tracking patient information with EHR systems could give doctors the valuable information needed to diagnose individual's risk of cardiovascular complications. HIMSS states that this is one of the strongest benefits of EHRs.