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Editor's Correspondence
May 23, 2011

EHRs and Health Care Quality: Correlation With Out-of-date, Differently Purposed Data Does Not Equate With Causality

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland.

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(10):941-954. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.188

Romano and Stafford1 use somewhat old data, collected for a different use and not aligned with their direct hypothesis, to conclude that electronic health records (EHRs) with clinical decision support (CDS) do not result in improved quality of care in ambulatory settings. Other researchers have approached this question in a similar and, in our view, inappropriate manner25 to reach the same conclusion, although one study using this approach previously published by the Archives showed that EHR use led to higher quality in the inpatient setting.6

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