The study included the electronic medical records of 117,606 outpatients between two hospitals that make up Partners Healthcare – Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Co-written by Dr. Alexander Turchin of Harvard Medical School, the study provided data suggesting that lab tests decreased after their EHR and health information exchange (HIE) implementation in 2000.
Spanning from the beginning of 1999 to the end of 2004, lab tests per patient went from an average of seven in 1999 to four in 2004 after their EHR rollout. Patients who did not have prior lab tests done at the two hospitals actually had a slightly increased number of tests since implementation – from an average of five up to six. Despite this, the research concluded that since the introduction of EHRs and HIE, the number of lab tests decreased by 49%. According to the Reuter’s regarding the study, Turchin and his team plan on studying the potential savings of from fewer lab test orders.