Weill Cornell Study Finds Measuring Quality In EHR Era 'Challenging'

Mike Milliard | Government Health IT | January 16, 2013

A new study by Weill Cornell Medical College spotlights the need for improving quality measurement from electronic health records. The study, whose results are published in the Jan. 15 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, shows how EHRs, designed to document clinical care for individual patients, can do better when it comes to gauging the quality of that care.

Funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the research took a cross-sectional look at a health network in New York. Its findings show that the accuracy of quality measures can vary widely, and that electronic reporting can both underestimate and overestimate quality.

Meaningful use incentives are based, in part, on the ability to electronically report clinical quality measures. By 2014, providers will be expected to document and report care electronically; the next year, they will face financial penalties if they don't do so. But the Weill Cornell report suggests there's much work to do in the meantime.