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J Am Med Inform Assoc doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2012-001099
  • Research and Applications

The effect of electronic medical record system sophistication on preventive healthcare for women

  1. Pamela C Heaton3
  1. 1Innovation, Health Outcomes and Pharmaceutical Economics, College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  2. 2College of Business and College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  3. 3Division of Pharmacy Practice and Administrative Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  4. 4Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmacovigilance in the Division of Pharmacy Practice and Administrative Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  5. 5Division of Trauma/Critical Care, Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Namita L Tundia, Innovation, Health Outcomes and Pharmaceutical Economics, College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati, 3225 Eden Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0004, USA; tundianl{at}mail.uc.edu
  • Received 10 May 2012
  • Accepted 7 September 2012
  • Published Online First 9 October 2012

Abstract

Objective To observe the effect of electronic medical record (EMR) system sophistication on preventive women's healthcare.

Materials and Methods Providers in the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), 2007–8, were included if they had at least one visit by a woman at least 21 years old. Based on 16 questions from NAMCS, the level of a provider's EMR system sophistication was classified as non-existent, minimal, basic, or fully functional. A two-stage residual-inclusion method was used with ordered probit regression to model the level of EMR system sophistication, and outcome-specific Poisson regressions to predict the number of examinations or tests ordered or performed.

Results Across the providers, 29.23%, 49.34%, 15.97%, and 5.46% had no, minimal, basic, and fully functional EMR systems, respectively. The breast examination rate was 20.27%, 34.96%, 37.21%, and 44.98% for providers without or with minimal, basic, and fully functional EMR systems, respectively. For breast examinations, pelvic examinations, Pap tests, chlamydia tests, cholesterol tests, mammograms, and bone mineral density (BMD) tests, an EMR system increased the number of these tests and examinations. Furthermore, the level of sophistication increased the number of breast examinations and Pap, chlamydia, cholesterol, and BMD tests.

Discussion The use of advanced EMR systems in obstetrics and gynecology was limited. Given the positive results of this study, specialists in women's health should consider investing in more sophisticated systems.

Conclusions The presence of an EMR system has a positive impact on preventive women's healthcare; the more functions that the system has, the greater the number of examinations and tests given or prescribed.

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