Association of EMR adoption with minority health care outcome disparities in US hospitals

Jae Young Choi, Yong Fang Kuo, James S. Goodwin, Jinhyung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Disparities in healthcare among minority groups can result in disparate treatments for similar severities of symptoms, unequal access to medical care, and a wide deviation in health outcomes. Such racial disparities may be reduced via use of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system. However, there has been little research investigating the impact of EMR systems on the disparities in health outcomes among minority groups. Methods: This study examined the impact of EMR systems on the following four outcomes of black patients: length of stay, inpatient mortality rate, 30-day mortality rate, and 30-day readmission rate, using patient and hospital data from the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society between 2000 and 2007. The difference-in-difference research method was employed with a generalized linear model to examine the association of EMR adoption on health outcomes for minority patients while controlling for patient and hospital characteristics. Results: We examined the association between EMR adoption and the outcomes of minority patients, specifically black patients. However, after controlling for patient and hospital characteristics we could not find any significant changes in the four health outcomes of minority patients before and after EMR implementation. Conclusions: EMR systems have been reported to support better coordinated care, thus encouraging appropriate treatment for minority patients by removing potential sources of bias from providers. Also, EMR systems may improve the quality of care provided to patients via increased responsiveness to care processes that are required to be more time-sensitive and through improved communication. However, we did not find any significant benefit for minority groups after EMR adoption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalHealthcare Informatics Research
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2016

Keywords

  • Electronic medical records
  • Length of stay
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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