Hospital to study effect of electronic medical records

Patients will have access to records via Internet

The University of Colorado Hospital in Denver has announced two new grants for controlled studies of how patient care is affected by electronic access to medical records. The announcement of The Commonwealth Fund gift of more than $282,000 plus a significant grant from CaP CURE was made at a University of Colorado Hospital Authority Board of Directors meeting by Dennis Brimhall, president and CEO.

With support from the Commonwealth Fund grant, researchers Steve Ross, MD, and C.T. Lin, MD, will manage a study of the effect of patient access to electronic medical records (EMRs) on the attitudes, expectations, and experiences of patients and physicians at a specialty clinic for heart failure at the hospital.

Researchers will conduct a controlled study of patients with congestive heart failure who are provided access to their EMRs via the Internet and will evaluate the effect of EMR availability on patients’ understanding of their conditions, their ability to provide self-care, and their confidence in the care they are receiving. Physicians’ views on medical record access also will be studied.

The grant from CaP CURE will help fund a study of about 30 prostate cancer support group members to determine how their use of the Internet affects their medical care. The grant will help patients communicate directly with their physicians at any time via the Internet. Michael Glode, MD, will direct that study.