(HealthDay)—An electronic medical record (EMR)-based care pathway improves treatment of cellulitis, according to a study published online July 28 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
Peter M. Yarbrough, M.D., from the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City, and colleagues evaluated changes in process metrics, clinical outcomes, and cost for cellulitis before and after implementation of an EMR-based intervention. The intervention, along with education, was provided for all emergency and internal medicine physicians.
The researchers found that of the 677 visits, 370 visits included order sets. Overall, there was a 59 percent decrease in the odds of ordering broad-spectrum antibiotics (P < 0.001), a 23 percent decrease in pharmacy cost (P = 0.002), and a 13 percent decrease in total facility cost (P = 0.006). Among patients for whom order sets were used, there was a 75 percent greater decrease in the odds of ordering broad-spectrum antibiotics (P < 0.001), a 13 percent greater decline in clinical length of stay (P = 0.041), and 25 percent lower pharmacy costs (P = 0.074), compared to patients for whom order sets were not used.
"The evidence-based care pathway for cellulitis improved care at an academic medical center by reducing broad-spectrum antibiotic use, pharmacy costs, and total facility costs without an adverse change in length of stay or 30-day readmissions," the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the software and health information technology industries.
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Journal information: Journal of Hospital Medicine
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