Background Electronic health records (EHRs) may be key tools for improving the quality of health care, particularly for conditions for which guidelines are rapidly evolving and timely care is critical, such as ischemic stroke. Objectives The goal of this study was to determine whether hospitals with EHRs differed on quality or outcome measures for ischemic stroke from those without EHRs. Methods We studied 626,473 patients from 1,236 U.S. hospitals in Get With the Guidelines-Stroke (GWTG-Stroke) from 2007 through 2010, linked with the American Hospital Association annual survey to determine the presence of EHRs. We conducted patient-level logistic regression analyses for each of the outcomes of interest. Results A total of 511 hospitals had EHRs by the end of the study period. Hospitals with EHRs were larger and were more often teaching hospitals and stroke centers. After controlling for patient and hospital characteristics, patients admitted to hospitals with EHRs had similar odds of receiving "all-or-none" care (odds ratio [OR]: 1.03; 95% CI: 0.99 to 1.06; p = 0.12), of discharge home (OR: 1.02; 95% CI: 0.99 to 1.04; p = 0.15), and of in-hospital mortality (OR: 1.01; 95% CI: 0.96 to 1.05; p = 0.82). The odds of having a length of stay >4 days was slightly lower at hospitals with EHRs (OR: 0.97; 95% CI: 0.95 to 0.99; p = 0.01). Conclusions In our sample of GWTG-Stroke hospitals, EHRs were not associated with higher-quality care or better clinical outcomes for stroke care. Although EHRs may be necessary for an increasingly high-tech, transparent healthcare system, as currently implemented, they do not appear to be sufficient to improve outcomes for this important disease.
- hospital mortality
- length of stay
- medical order entry systems
- outcome assessment (health care)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine