In a study by researchers in the Johns Hopkins Department of Psychiatry, the top 18 U.S. hospitals were surveyed for electronic psychiatric record storage and accessibility of those records to non-psychiatric physicians. These variables were correlated with patient care outcomes from the University Health System Consortium Clinical Database available for 13 of the 18 top U.S. hospitals. Results show that 44 percent of the hospitals surveyed keep most or all of their psychiatric records electronically and 28 percent make psychiatric records accessible to non-psychiatric physicians while only 22 percent do both. Additionally, compared to hospitals that do not store psychiatric records electronically, the average 7-day readmission rate of psychiatric patients is significantly lower at hospitals with electronic psychiatric records. The 14- and 30-day readmission rates at hospitals where psychiatric records are accessible to non-psychiatric physicians are also lower than those with non-accessible records. Lastly, the 7-, 14-, and 30-day readmission rates are significantly lower in hospitals where psychiatric records are both electronic and accessible than at hospitals where records are neither electronic nor accessible. These findings suggest that accessible electronic psychiatric records correlates with improved clinical care as measured by lower readmission rates for psychiatric patients (Kozubal, DE et al., 2012).
Access the related journal article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23266060