Electronic Health Records Communication among Team Members and Quality of Care and Costs for Patients with Cardiovascular Disease in Primary Care

AbstractThis study determines how changes in electronic health record (EHR) communication patterns in primary care teams are related to quality of care and costs for patients with cardiovascular disease. Counts of EHR messages routed between any two team members were extracted from the EHR system, and flow betweenness, the proportion of information passed indirectly within the team, was calculated. The analysis related changes in team flow betweenness to changes in acute care visits and associated medical costs for the teams’ patients with cardiovascular disease. The results indicated that patient hospital visits increased by 7% (SE 3%) for every 1% increase in team EHR flow betweenness. Medical costs increased by $141 (SE $67) per patient for every 1% increase in team EHR flow betweenness. EHR team communication flow patterns may be an important avenue to explore for raising quality of care and lowering costs for primary care patients with cardiovascular disease.

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