Informaticopia

Monday, June 26, 2006

Evidence for handheld electronic medication records in improving care: a systematic review

Evidence for handheld electronic medication records in improving care: a systematic review

This paper by Robert C Wu and Sharon E Straus, which is available from BioMed Central as a provisional PDF, reports a systematic review of 30 years of literature on the evidence assessing the effects of handheld electronic medical records on clinical care.

only two studies met the inclusion criteria. Both studies were methodologically strong. The studies examined changes in documentation in orthopedic patients with handheld electronic medical records compared to paper charts, and both found an increase in documentation. Other effects noted with handheld electronic medical records were an increase in time to document and an increase in wrong or redundant diagnoses.

The authors concluded that "Handheld electronic medical records may improve documentation, but as yet, the number of studies is small and the data is restricted to one group of patients and a small group of practitioners. Further study is required to determine the benefits with handheld electronic medical records especially in assessing clinical outcomes."

This just shows the dearth of good research in the area and the need for further work before this sort of approach is adopted more widely.

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