Physician Practice

Mental health data not always integrated into EHRs

Physician Practice Insider, August 9, 2016

A recent study finds physicians often fail to integrate information about depression and other behavioral health issues into EHRs, an oversight that could have a profound effect on a patient’s overall health.

“In this research, we found that the lack of integration, interoperability, and exchange in U.S. healthcare resulted in a major EHR missing roughly half of the clinical information,” the authors wrote in the study, which was published in the April 2016 issue of Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

The study compared data from large physician practices and claims to determine what was missing from patient records. “When we linked data from both sources to match specific events across systems, the results were very similar: Roughly half of the outpatient care days in claims could not be matched clinical contracts recorded in the EHR.”

Specifically, the study found that 27.3% of patients with depression and 27.7% of patients with bipolar disorder did not have their diagnosis integrated into their primary care EHR.

This article was originally published in Physician Practice Perspectives. Subscribers can read the full article in the July 2016 issue.

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