A Massachusetts medical program has been getting a lot of attention, within the physician services sector, due to its success.
“Health Affairs: Mass. program could be U.S. model,” was featured in a recent issue of “Cardiovascular Business.” The article discusses the benefits of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, a four-year, $50 million program that installed electronic health records (EHRs) and, from the years 2006-2008, provided workflow redesign at no cost to participating physicians.
“We knew physicians were generating registries for their own purposes prior to EHRs,” said lead author Marshall Fleurant. “We wanted to see if this EHR project increased registry use overtime because we felt this program may have the potential to increase the physician’s capacity to look at their own quality measures.”
Fleurant is a general internal medicine research fellow in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard HealthCare Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Patient registries are a big part of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative. The article also noted that, “physicians, who are frequent users of EHRs in patient care, are more likely to use specialty registries, such as cases involving diabetes patients.”
“We did not find this association was the same in the care of patients with coronary artery disease,” Fleurant said. “What we learned is that an organized, collaborative, community-based method for EHR implementation could be a viable model for the widespread EHR implementation across the country. Giving physicians the ability to generate these registries could be a form to measure quality in their own registries.
“In terms of policy, now that the federal government has in place programs like the Beacon Communities and regional extension centers, this would be a good opportunity for regulatory agencies to look into programs like the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative when looking at broader approaches in EHR implementation projects.”